Christie defends Oxley judicial nomination in face of Dem resistance

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie said on Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee should hold a hearing on his nomination of Sheriff Joe Oxley to the state Superior Court, saying Democrats should not find “excuses” to keep from doing their job.

The planned hearing has hit a roadblock, after Sen. Ray Lesniak, (D-20),  Elizabeth, requested from the Justice Department information collected on Oxley regarding an allegation made by Solomon Dwek, the FBI informant who helped bring down several public officials in a huge political scandal in the summer of 2009.

Dwek has alleged that Oxley had tipped him off on foreclosure sales. Dwek, a former real estate investor, was recently ordered to serve six years in prison.

Christie, who was U.S. attorney when that scandal broke, said the allegation was investigated by his successor, Paul Fishman, and he determined that the claim has “no factual basis.”  

Christie said he knows first-hand how the data provided by cooperating witnesses can be.

“Sometimes it can be reliable, sometimes it can be fiction,” he said.  “I think it’s unfair to put that kind of fiction in the public stream.”

The governor said the request is “just another excuse” by Lesniak and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee not to deal with judicial nominations from the Supreme Court right on down.”

“All they’re looking for is excuses to not hold hearings on judicial nominations.”  

Christie has had a losing record in getting his nominations for the Supreme Court approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which like all committees has Democrats in the majority. His previous two nominations to the state’s highest court, Phil Kwon and Bruce Harris, failed largely along party-line votes.

Christie defends Oxley judicial nomination in face of Dem resistance