TRENTON, N.J. — He’s resigned, but the hiring of an ex-official who went to jail after accepting bribes by the Murphy Administration has led to not just 15 Democrat co-sponsorships for a bill to prevent future such hires but also a demand for an investigation.
“Governor Murphy’s suggestion that his administration conducted a legal review that supported the hiring of Marcellus Jackson despite his prior conviction on federal corruption charges doesn’t pass the smell test,” said state Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40). “Both the Attorney General and the Office of Legislative Services have said the hiring is a violation of New Jersey law. We must hold legislative hearings to determine where the process broke down and how it can be fixed going forward to maintain the public’s trust in government.”
Corrado has already sent a letter to Senate President Steve Sweeney making a formal request.
“Good things did happen for Marcellus Jackson when Governor Murphy hired him into a $70,000 a year job as a special assistant in the Department of Education,” added Corrado. “The only problem is the hiring was illegal, despite the Governor saying it was part of the ‘normal course of business.’ We appreciate Attorney General Grewal’s efforts to clarify the nature of the hiring, and believe a legislative review that is independent of the administration is appropriate as well. We need to know why the governor thinks ignoring the law is ok, and we need to know if there are other corrupt officials hired into the Murphy Administration that haven’t been revealed to the public yet.”
Corrado’s outrage was met with skepticism from Politico‘s Matt Friedman who pointed out on Twitter that the state senator is a close ally of Peter Murphy, the Passaic GOP Chairman who was once prosecuted for corruption by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.
Murphy, meanwhile, continued to defend the hire, even expressing pride at having hired an ex-con.
“The only way to figure out how to prevent this from ever happening again is to understand how the Murphy administration reviewed this,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39) in a statement of her own on Tuesday. “The governor made pretty clear this wasn’t going to be a one-time thing.”