Skip to comments.Pol calls for AG’s impeachment
Posted on 08/19/2005 1:16:05 PM PDT by BATNF
08/19/2005 Pol calls for AGs impeachment
By CHARLES WEBSTER Staff Writer
ZIP code where you park at night.
Pol calls for AGs impeachment
TRENTON - A state lawmaker peeved over revelations that homeland security money was doled out along partisan lines, has asked that articles of impeachment be drafted for the removal of state Attorney General Peter Harvey.
"I believe the time has come for Peter Harvey to be removed from his position as Attorney General," Assemblyman Sean Kean, R-Monmouth, said in a written statement yesterday.
Kean has directed the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services to draw up the impeachment documents against Harvey.
A spokesman for Harvey pushed aside any suggestion of impeachment saying it was nothing more than election year antics.
"In an election year the Attorney General expects, but will ignore, such statements made by irresponsible people based upon erroneous information," said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for Harvey
"Our office will continue to see these antics but well focus upon the important work of the 10 divisions in this department."
Last month, state lawmakers were stunned by a published report that revealed that Democratic districts received $21.3 million, or 93 percent, of the money distributed through the state since 2002, while Republican areas got only $1.6 million. The report was based on statistics supplied by acting Gov. Dick Codeys office.
"Mr. Harvey played games with our security and is no longer fit to hold the office of Attorney General," Kean said.
"His repeated ethical transgressions and illegal misuse of state funding is inexcusable.He must be held accountable for this gaffe." Kean charged Harvey with malfeasance and the misappropriation of state funds allocated for the protection of New Jersey residents in a time of war as reasons for the impeachment.
The Attorney General is a constitutional officer protected from removal even by the governor. The only way to remove a sitting Attorney General is through his own resignation or impeachment proceedings.
"The Attorney General, as the highest ranking law enforcement official in the state, had the legal and ethical obligation to award these grant based solely on security needs, not politics," Kean said."Politics should have never been allowed to influence the grant distribution process." Last months review prompted calls for Harveys immediate resignation, as the person ultimately responsible for the grant program in the Garden State.
Later it was reported that the money was being sent to Democratic districts at the direction of the governors office. But that charge was repeatedly denied by a Codey spokesman.
Last month, Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce, of Parsippany, directed a letter to U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie asking that his office look into the partisan money grab.
Earlier this month, DeCroce said he was considering asking federal Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff, a New Jersey native, to look into the situation.
The homeland security funding study by The Star-Ledger of Newark found that this year, lawmakers from each party requested about the same amount of Homeland Security funding for their districts. The result: Democrats got more than $7.8 million, while Republicans received $523,454.
More than $1 million in grants went to just one district--that of Sen. Wayne Bryant, D-Lawnside, chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The newspaper cited unnamed sources in Harveys office who said the money goes more often to communities in Democratic districts because they have more potential targets.
But the newspapers analysis showed several instances in which comparable suburban districts controlled by Democrats received money while Republican ones did not.
For example, Somerville, Manville and South Bound Brook in heavily Republican Somerset County are similar in population and economics to three towns located not far away in Democratic Middlesex County: Edison, Metuchen and South River. The three Middlesex towns this year received $385,000 in state grants; the three Somerset towns got nothing.
"As a matter of integrity, acting Gov. Codey should take immediate action to ensure that never again will the grant process be tainted by the ugliness of politics," Kean said.
"Towns who were overlooked because of political considerations should be allowed to resubmit their applications.Perhaps this time, they will give every legitimate application equal consideration." But playing catch-up isnt an option for Republican districts. Codeys administration eliminated the grant program from the budget that began on July 1.
Charles Webster is the State House reporter for The Trentonian. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The democrat machine is so strong and so corrupt in NJ that only kicking them out of the governorship will work. I've seen Harvey at work from many years ago. I'm not sure he's personally corrupt, but no democrat can or will stand in the way of business as usual. In that sense they all are corrupt. From personal experience I know the attorney general's office is in no way isolated from the machine. They are an integral part of the whole scam.
Harvey and Cipel, two peas in a pod. Cashing in on homeland security funds with no concern for homeland security.
I heard this stuff on the radio.
The AG was slamming kean for calling him out.
Obviously the Pubbie areas were much better off, being inhabited by rich Republicans, that they didn't need as much money as the Dem areas. This just balances things out. /sarcasm