Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) on Tuesday continued his attacks on Chris Christie, calling on federal authorities to investigate a loan the former U.S. Attorney made to a subordinate which he failed to report on his income tax returns and on disclosure documents, PolitickerNJ reported. Christie on Monday admitted that he failed to disclose a $46,000 loan to Michele Brown, who at the time was the No. 4 person in the U.S. Attorney’s office and supervised by Christie.
Pascrell said, “Add this to the growing list of Christie’s capers,” adding, “Is it mere coincidence that Mr. Christie’s personal life is again in conflict with his public obligations? A prosecutor at his level should know that once he gave that loan, no matter how well-intended it was, it changed the relationship between Mr. Christie and Ms. Brown. We have a right to know to what extent it changed. At the very least, this is a conflict of interest.”
Although Pascrell was a fan of Christie prior to the 2006 midterm elections, a leak by Christie’s office about an investigation into a property owned by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who was running for reelection, changed Pascrell’s tone on the U.S. Attorney, PolitickerNJ reported. Following the election, Pascrell blasted Christie for his oversight of deferred prosecution agreements and in 2008 called for a probe into a potentially $52 million no-bid contract that Christie awarded to a firm owned by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who has spent the past week attacking Christie’s ethics — and who has been under attack by the Christie campaign for his links to two New Jersey mayors indicted in a massive public corruption sweep last month — was not as harsh on Christie as Pascrell. Following a bill signing on Tuesday, the governor said the omission raises questions about Christie’s conduct. He said, “Some of them may be legal, some of them may be appearance.” Read The Newark Star-Ledger article here.
However, the Corzine campaign did continue its attack on Christie regarding his exchanges with Karl Rove back in 2006, which the campaign claims is a violation of the Hatch Act. Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy on Tuesday said, “It seems clear that a conversation with George Bush’s top political adviser resulting in staff advice being taken is actually quite formal, and something that should be looked into.”
Darcy continued, “He has refused to release basic information such as his schedules, travel and budgets while United States attorney and now we learn he not only failed to disclose the loan as required by law, but he failed to pay taxes on the income he earned on the loan.” He added, “This is part of a worsening pattern of Chris Christie hiding information that the public should know since he’s seeking the state’s highest office.” Read The Courier Post article here and the Gannett article here.