New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced today that Dr. Janet Rosenzweig has withdrawn her name from consideration to become the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families.
With regret, Governor Christie today accepted her withdrawal from consideration.
“I want to sincerely thank Janet for her service and dedication to our state’s children, for whom she is obviously a zealous advocate,” the Governor said. “I am proud of the nomination I made, and I wish Janet the best in her professional career.”
In a letter to the Governor, Dr. Rosenzweig, who is stepping down as Acting Commissioner effective today, explained her decision. The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Governor Christie:
I respectfully and regretfully withdraw my name for further consideration for confirmation as the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families.
The effort required to continue in that process is distracting from the important work of this department.
It has been my pleasure to serve your administration and the people of New Jersey for this brief period of time.
I wish the best for your administration and particularly for the 7,000 public servants working to make the New Jersey Department of Children and Families a model of excellence in providing safety, permanence and well-being for the children of this state.
From the Newark-Star Ledger and NJ.com:
[Questions had arisen over] Rosenzweig's work at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. At her hearing [last] month, some senators suggested the group had taken too passive a stance on the issue of sex between adults and children.
Although she was executive director, Rosenzweig said she worked part time at the society and did not handle policy or research. Repeatedly questioned, she said: "I am unequivocally opposed to sexual encounters between adults and children. In fact, I have spent my career working to ensure that doesn’t happen."
[Sen. Christopher "Kip"] Bateman . . . said the Senate wants to know more about her job at the organization. "They have a pretty open, liberal policy about sex," he said. "I’m not saying that’s her position. But I think that’s what some of my colleagues want to ask about." . . .
Christie said he expected Rosenzweig, Hal Wirths, his Labor Department nominee -- and all of his cabinet picks -- to face a "rigorous" confirmation process.
"If they can't stand up to rigorous examination by the judiciary committee in the state Senate, then they probably aren't going to be able to stand up to the rigorous duties of running a major department in state government," the governor said.