New Jersey State Senator Sam Thompson (R-12) said that the a spike in violent crimes in Newark precipitated by budget problems and police layoffs demonstrates the tangible harm caused by fraud and the abuse of government authority by public officials in the city:
"At the same time that the State Comptroller identified millions of dollars being wasted at the Watershed Corporation under ex-Mayor, now U.S. Senator Cory Booker, hundreds of Newark police officers were laid off due to budget cuts leading to a surge of violent crimes, including a 41 percent increase in murders in the city from 2009 to 2013.
"It is crystal clear that the reported waste, abuse or fraud associated with the Newark Watershed has directly impacted the safety and well being of residents.
"With more than a million wasted tax dollars so far identified under the Booker administration, the City could have covered the cost of hiring several police officers and paying for their salaries and benefits over several years.
"For anyone who questions why Senator Rice and I have been so adamant in demanding a Select Committee investigation of these abuses, this is why."
To stem the growing violence in Newark that has resulted from the police layoffs, the Acting Attorney General has recently announced that the State Police have been assigned to help the Newark Police Department patrol high crime areas.
Senators Thompson and Ron Rice (D-28) maintain an online petition at http://senatenj.com/newark urging the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation to open an inquiry into the serious abuses identified by the State Comptroller at the Newark Watershed Corporation.