Codey separates Doherty and Lesniak in Senate chamber

TRENTON – Senators Mike Doherty and Ray Lesniak went nose-to-nose in the chamber this afternoon after Lesniak apparently catcalled during Doherty’s presentation.

Doherty approached Lesniak’s chair and demanded respect.

According to two sources, Lesniak threatened to “pop” Doherty.

Former Gov. (and state Sen.) Richard Codey intervened, wrapping his arms around Doherty, a former West Point boxer.

“Uncalled for,” Doherty said. “Of course, people are passionate and he seemed to totally disagree but when I went over there, he immediately ratched it up and said he would pop me. It’s beneath the dignity of the office we hold.”

Lesniak was terse.

“I never start,” said the veteran Democrat. “Just finish.”

Departing the Statehouse after the near fracas, Codey said Doherty used the moment to bond with him, mentioning that both of the men were from Essex County.

“Glen Ridge?” cracked Codey, who comes from the harder-scrabble Orange.  

Codey separates Doherty and Lesniak in Senate chamber