Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), the GOP State Chairman, says revelations that Gov. Jon Corzine has a personal financial interest in the state's casino industry is a "possible violation of state law" and that the governor "has put his own financial interests apparently ahead of legal propriety and the public good."
"When the Governor is using those same tainted personal funds to finance tens of millions in attack ads, there are even more reasons to examine these revelations of the Governor's potential illegalities, conflicts of interest, and gaming associations," said Webber.
Webber says that Corzine's refusal to admit the appearance of a conflict "further strains the public's faith in his administration, and is another example of the Governor putting his interests before those of the public.
"According to reports, there is no blind trust covering the Governor's holdings. Instead, the Hold-Me-Accountable Governor must appreciate the seriousness of his deliberate conduct and provide full accountability as more questions inevitably surface about the Governor's role in hedging his own financial bets in casinos," said Webber, who wants Corzine to immediately disclose all information and records relating to his personal investments with Texas Pacific Group and its other entities.
"Governor Corzine also must make his financial interests consistent with state law and divest himself from TPG and any other holdings within New Jersey's gaming industry," said Webber.
Two Republican legislators joined Webber in suggesting that Corzine might have broken the law.
"Today, we discovered that Governor Corzine holds significant personal investments in the Texas Pacific Group and its affiliate companies that may be in violation of the law. Governor Corzine must be forthright and tell New Jerseyans how much money he has personally invested with TPG and divest his interest in the company," said State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown), the chairman of Republican Christopher Christie's campaign. "At best, Governor Corzine's actions represent a concerning conflict of interest. At worst, they violate the Casino Control Act. Mr. Corzine should know that this investment is wrong and may, in fact, be illegal."
"Today's news about Governor Jon Corzine's interest in Texas Pacific Group is disturbing and raises serious questions about the governor's judgment. Not only are Governor Corzine's actions negligent, but he may have actually broken the law," said Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany). "If we're going to restore the public's trust in the system, Jon Corzine must immediately disclose how much he has personally invested in these casino-related ventures and immediately divest the funds. Frankly, Jon Corzine should know better, and we deserve answers."