TRENTON, N.J. – Governor Phil Murphy — like Donald Trump and many other elected executives — took steps to place his assets into a “blind trust” (click here) for the duration of his gubernatorial tenure. The idea is to prevent conflicts of interest.
Is he honoring it?
Beginning yesterday and continuing into today, the news that Governor Murphy interjected himself into the recruitment of a player (Julia Ashley) for his all-female soccer team Sky Blue FC has New Jersey observers asking whether he violated state ethics laws. Sky Blue plays at Rutgers and some of its sponsors multiple sponsors are recipients of state funding. His ownership stake is also inside of the aforementioned blind trust.
Murphy reportedly reached out to Ashley in an attempt to coax her into staying with Sky Blue FC despite reported poor conditions. So he was taking on an active management role.
Now the NJGOP Chairman (Doug Steinhardt) wants the state’s Advisory Ethics Panel to investigate.
“Governor Murphy needs to account to the people of New Jersey and prove that he will hold himself to some ethical standard,” said Steinhardt. “He needs to take personal responsibility for his decisions. In the spirit of good government and public transparency, he needs to go to the Advisory Ethics Panel and request a written ruling on whether he stepped out of bounds trying to salvage his sweat shop soccer team.”