U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) says that GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie has promised state jobs to former federal prosecutors who worked for him and wants Christie to make a full disclosure of the “political overlap between his campaign and the law enforcement responsibilities of his former staff in the US Attorney’s Office.”
Pallone’s statements come after a video of Christie suggesting that he would take a group of Assistant U.S. Attorneys with him to Trenton appeared on the Internet.
“The more we learn about Mr. Christie’s penchant for mixing campaign politics with law enforcement the more evidence there is that he has broken the law multiple times,” said Pallone. “Breaking the law is bad enough for any federal employee, but it is especially bad by those with the responsibility of enforcing the law impartially and responsibly.”
Christie, speaking at an event sponsored by State Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton), told that audience that “we’re going to ferret out waste and fraud and abuse in the government. I think you know I’ll do that better than anybody.”
I’ve got a group of assistant U.S. attorneys sitting down in Newark still doing their job. But let me tell you, they are watching the newspapers. And after we win this election, I’m going to take a whole group of them to Trenton with me and put them in every one of the departments because they saw a lot of waste and abuse being investigated while we were in the U.S. Attorney’s office that didn’t rise to the level of a crime,” Christie said. “So I told them, the good news is, when we get to Trenton we don’t have to worry about beyond a reasonable doubt anymore.”
“Now Mr. Christie is essentially acknowledging that he has a political plan that revolves around former employees – who are all barred from political activities,” said Pallone. “He should disclose who they are, what they communicate with each other and what plans they are making.Mr. Christie is no longer responsible for enforcing the law but he isn’t supposed to break it.”
Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), the Republican State Chairman, took a harsh tone in his criticism of Pallone.
“Representative Pallone’s assertions stretch believability to the breaking point and approach the territory of a paranoid conspiracy theory. Congressman Pallone has politicized the legislative process, and now he’s impugned the integrity of an entire office of public servants. To allege misconduct in high places, without facts and on the flimsiest of inferences, is reckless, irresponsible, and sleazy,” Webber said. “Congressman Pallone should be ashamed of himself. He owes an apology to the U.S. Attorney’s office and his constituents – who would be better served if the congressman focused on the issues he was elected to deal with.”