After altercation with governor, former Navy SEAL testifies before Assembly committee

NEWARK – The Navy SEAL that Gov. Chris Christie called an “idiot” last week testified before the Assembly Budget Committee during a hearing on Monday afternoon, criticizing the state’s plan to merge New Jersey’s higher education institutions.

William Brown, the Navy SEAL and Rutgers-Camden law student who made headlines after getting in an argument with Christie at a town hall meeting that ended with Christie calling him an idiot, noted that the state’s plan to merge higher education institutions does not include a detailed financial analysis.

“Each one of the governor’s proposals will cost the taxpayers millions,” Brown said in his testimony about the mergers.

Brown said the plan to have Rowan essentially take over Rutgers-Camden would also “eliminate the only nationally renowned university in South Jersey.”

Brown made the same point of other Rutgers advocates, testifying that Rowan does not have the name recognition that Rutgers carries throughout the country.

Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-32), Secaucus, the chair of the committee, said that the committee is “aware of the proposed mergers and we have a lot of concerns” but said he is unsure how the budget will be affected by the proposed mergers and reorganizations.

Prieto said he recognizes Brown’s point of concern about the elimination of the Rutgers name brand in South Jersey.

After altercation with governor, former Navy SEAL testifies before Assembly committee