New Jersey Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean called on Governor Corzine to order an immediate meeting of the state’s Local Finance Board.
The board should consider exercising emergency control of cities in turmoil because their mayors and other key officials haven’t stepped down after their arrests on corruption charges. Federal agents have accused the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, and Jersey City’s council president of bribery and other crimes. Though many of these public officials benefited immeasurably from Governor Corzine’s political support, they have so far ignored his pleas to resign from office immediately.
“No city government can function smoothly after top leaders have been handcuffed and led before judges to face corruption charges,” Kean said. “Many taxpayers will suspect the affairs of government are not being handled honestly.”
“There are good local officials in both parties who have had to endure the betrayal of corrupt colleagues. The governor should order that the Department of Community Affairs and the Local Finance Board help monitor their interests and those of the taxpayer,” Kean said.
“The citizens of Hoboken are demonstrating in the streets for change in government. There are certainly competent officials remaining at the DCA who can help them succeed,” Kean said. “Looking forward, the governor should select a new Commissioner of Community Affairs who will work to ensure no city mired in corruption can escape scrutiny in New Jersey.”