Dems won’t find AshBritt ‘smoking gun,’ Christie says

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Democratic lawmakers have not found a smoking gun with the company contracted for debris removal, now let’s move on.

That’s the sentiment of Gov. Chris Christie.

The governor told reporters Monday that last week’s hearing on the Florida-based company AshBritt was nothing more than a political show for his likely gubernatorial challenger – Sen. Barbara Buono.

“It was a campaign event,” Christie said during a news conference in North Brunswick today.

“I really thought the hearings were much ado about nothing,” he said, adding, “Sen. Buono got to campaign on the taxpayers’ dime.”

During Friday’s hearing Buono grilled AshBritt’s CEO, Randy Perkins, about whether he informed the administration that “piggybacking” New Jersey’s cleanup contract off another state’s bidding process could jeopardize Federal Emergency Management Agency Funding.

Perkins denied that funding would be in any jeopardy and told lawmakers FEMA essentially “blessed” the state’s contract by being at the table.

The governor said it’s now time to move past the controversy since no evidence has been brought to light to suggest the process ran afoul of federal rules, he said.

“How about some proof that AshBritt took advantage of the state?” Christie asked, saying, “There is none.”

Christie said it’s time to focus on rebuilding the state.

“There’s a lot of sound and fury about this but there’s no evidence,” he added. “I know you guys are trying hard, you really are, to make something of this.”

Dems won’t find AshBritt ‘smoking gun,’ Christie says