Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Senator Asks If Judge Can Be Fair on Betting

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Senator Asks If Judge Can Be Fair on Betting

Article excerpt

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak on Friday called on a federal judge who has repeatedly blocked the start of legalized sports gambling in New Jersey to step down from the case, citing a "strong appearance of a conflict of interest" because his brother has had connections to the National Football League.

Lesniak, a strong proponent of sports betting in the state, alleges in a news release that U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp's ability to decide the case fairly is compromised because his brother Marcel, now a college assistant coach, played in the National Football League and has participated in a program for minorities looking to coach in the league.

Last week, Shipp granted a request by the NFL and other professional sports leagues, along with college sports' governing body, by issuing a restraining order stopping Monmouth Park racetrack from starting legalized sports betting last Sunday. The leagues had sued the state after Governor Christie signed a law allowing sports bets at state racetracks and casinos. …

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