A newspaper ad sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew is misleading voters as to the ethics status of his running mate, Assemblyman Nelson Albano.
Last week, the Joint Committee on Ethical Standards voted to take jurisdiction over a complaint against Albano and ordered a further investigation. The complaint arose from a traffic stop involving Albano in which the assemblyman claimed he was harassed. He later reached out to State Police brass to complain about the trooper who stopped him.
But the trooper’s dash-mount camera showed the officer acting in contrast to Albano’s account, instead treating Albano respectfully and apologizing for writing the ticket.
In an ad that ran in a South Jersey paper today, Van Drew said he and his running mates were gratified that the committee found no fault with Albano’s actions.
“Ethics Committee Declines To Find Fault Against Albano,” the headline read, followed by a quote from Van Drew.
“We are extremely pleased that the committee declined to find any wrongdoing on behalf of Nelson.”
But while the ad is right that the committee found no fault last week, it has not dismissed the case and will continue to investigate, taking it up again at a later date.
The ad does address the actual status by the committee, but fails to explain that the investigation continues and could later result in an eventual action against the assemblyman.
“In a procedural hearing last week, the Joint Commission on Legislative Ethics took no action against Albano, instead voting to agree that it has jurisdiction over the matter and to look into it further, postponing any action to a future date.”
Chris Russell, a spokesman for the campaign of Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt, who is challenging Van Drew in November, called the ad “a shameless attempt to mislead the public,” adding that in it Van Drew “blatantly lies” about the status of the complaint.
A spokeswoman for Van Drew called the ad “totally accurate.”
“I stand by the ad,” said spokesowman Allison Murphy. “It’s a very honest and accurate ad. It says 9 times out of 10 when they take jurisdiction over a complaint it’s dismissed as has happened to several people in this area.”