State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-says that GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie should return $23,800 in campaign contributions from a law firm that received a lucrative federal monitor contract while Christie was the state's U.S. Attorney.
Christie entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2006 after it admitted to committing Medicare fraud. He named Herbert Stern, a former federal judge and prosecutor, to the $500-per-hour post as monitor. His law firm, Stern and Killcullen, received a reported $8 million in legal fees from the contract.
Citing reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Weinberg says that Stern and his partners, former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino and Kevin Killcullen, and their wives each gave the maximum contribution of $3,400 to the Christie campaign. Inglesino also gave $3,400 from his old campaign account.
"Mr. Christie has said time and again that this type of behavior is unacceptable," said Weinberg. "As a U.S. Attorney in the Bush Administration for the past seven years Mr. Christie has been very appropriately vocal about the negative impact pay-to-play has on New Jersey taxpayers. In the interest of eliminating any sense of impropriety, he should give back the $24,000 he has received from Mr. Stern and his associates and refrain from accepting any more money from them."
Through public financing, Christie received an additional $47,600 in matching funds through the seven contributions.