NJ Politics Digest: Battle Between Norcross, Murphy Bound for Court

George Norcross

George Norcross. (Photo: Observer file photo)

George Norcross has filed suit against Gov. Phil Murphy over the state’s investigation into how economic development tax breaks were awarded.

NJ.com reports that in his suit, Norcross contends Murphy didn’t have the authority to create the special task force investigating the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The suit filed Tuesday claims Murphy approved “the retention and payment of New York lawyers who proceeded to commence and conduct an investigation in violation of multiple provisions of New Jersey law,” according to the report.

The investigation has brought to a boil the long-simmering conflict between Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney, a longtime ally of Norcross’. Critics of the governor say the investigation is an attempt at political payback against his foes. Murphy claims he’s merely investigating the awarding of tax credits following a highly critical report by the state comptroller into the NJEDA program.

The task force is investigating the awarding of millions of dollars in incentives to Norcross’ company and to projects and companies with links to Norcross’ friends or family members. Norcross has said the incentives were used as the state intended in efforts to revitalize Camden, one of the poorest cities in the United States.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Norcross, Conner Strong & Buckelew (his insurance company), NFI, The Michaels Organization, Cooper University Health Care, and Parker McKay, a law firm headed by Norcross’ brother, NJ.com reports.

Quote of the Day: “It’s the biggest conflict I’ve seen, and I’ve been through many of them in my 40-year legislative career,” — Former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, on the conflict between Gov. Phil Murphy and fellow Democrats George Norcross and Senate President Steve Sweeney.

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