Three former New Jersey Ethics Commission officials are accusing that stalwart of honesty and decency, Chris Christie, of messing with a state agency. A member of Christie’s staff-- an executive assistant who worked for Bill Stepien and Bridget Anne Kelly, just by the way-- "used her state email account to influence her county health department to handle some feral felines on her property." Allegedly. And that would be a no-no.
Yes, stray cats are now part of the Christie saga. The story picks up from there. NJ.com has the goods:
By the time it was over, the executive director of the ethics commission was out of a job at the request of the governor’s office, replaced by one of Christie’s own lawyers, who was later given a judgeship by the governor.
Now, three former commission officials, breaking four years of silence, are accusing the governor’s office of unprecedented interference with an agency set up to be free of political influence.
Christie, they say, pushed the agency commissioners to replace the executive director — at a time when she was investigating a member of his own staff — thus crossing a line no other governor had before.
What? Governor Ethics played political chess with jobs for cronies, because "the governor wants his own person"? Governor Heartbroken meddled in an ongoing investigation? Governor I Know Nothing... crossed a line? Who'da thunk it?
Did I mention that the person he wanted to kick out was a Democrat?
One former state senator and former Ethics Commission vice chairman, a Republican, said it was the first time a governor had "asked for the commission’s top investigator to be removed, or suggested his own candidate lead the agency."
Of course, Governor Who Moi? is denying everything, as he is wont to do.
Speaking of scandals, the AP is reporting that "a judge has given New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other defendants more time to file a response to two lawsuits related to lane closures at the George Washington Bridge."
Much more on the ethics complaint story here.