Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie, Campaign Sued on Security Bills

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie, Campaign Sued on Security Bills

Article excerpt

Three liberal advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against Governor Christie and his presidential campaign arguing that taxpayers should not have to pay for the cost of his security detail when he is traveling for political purposes.

The governor's office sought nearly $185,000 in reimbursement from the New Jersey State Police for travel-related costs for Christie's security detail for the first three months of the year. While the governor did spend some time out of state on vacation, the vast majority of his travel in those months was related to his exploration of a presidential bid. Christie, who formally entered the GOP presidential race on June 30, has been spending increasingly more time outside New Jersey as he seeks the nomination.

The lawsuit was filed by New Jersey Working Families, BlueWaveNJ and New Jersey Citizen Action, all progressive grass-roots political advocacy organizations.

"Chris Christie cannot be allowed to run for president on the dime of New Jersey taxpayers," said Analilia Mejia, executive director of New Jersey Working Families, in a news release. "If Governor Christie wants to continue his quixotic campaign, he should pay for it from his own campaign coffers instead of forcing hardworking taxpayers to foot the bill."

Last year, New Jersey Working Families filed an ethics complaint against David Samson, who was then the chairman of the Port Authority board, alleging that he had misused the position to benefit clients of his private law firm. Samson, who was appointed by Christie and has been a close confidant of the governor's, resigned from that post and has since retired from his law firm.

Office involvement

The lawsuit against Christie, which was filed in Superior Court in Mercer County, also alleges that a representative of the governor's office was involved in securing a public facility -- Livingston High School -- for the governor's campaign kick off event. …

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