- Jul 2015
Hudson attorney files ethics complaint against Christie over 'Beachgate'
328Updated on July 6, 2017 at 10:56 AMPosted on July 5, 2017 at 3:46 PM
July 5, 2017[FONT=&]Michaelangelo Conte
Posted with permission from NJ.com[/FONT]
Gov. Chris Christie and his family and friends enjoy July 2 at the beach on Island Beach State Park, which was closed to the public due to the state government shutdown. (Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
)A Hudson County attorney has filed a complaint against Gov. Chris Christie, saying he used his position unethically when he and family members basked in the warm sun at Island Beach State Park Sunday while the public was turned away because of the state shutdown.
In accordance with the "Plain Language Guide to New Jersey's Executive Branch Ethics Standards" no person of the executive branch may obtain a "special benefit" as a result of their position ... in the executive branch," according to the complaint filed today with the State Ethics Commission by West New York attorney Mario M. Blanch.
"The governor and his family hold no special privileges over the residents and citizens of the state of New Jersey," the complaint says. "By using the park, 'in direct contravention to the shutdown,' (Christie) utilized his position as governor ... to obtain benefits for himself and his family that members of the general public could not enjoy for themselves."
Blanch noted that while Christie and family members were on the beach, the state shutdown ordered by Christie due to a budget impasse caused many businesses to lose money and caused inconvenience to numerous families traveling during the Fourth of July weekend.
It was reported that Cub Scouts and their family members planning to camp at Cheesequake State Park in Matawan were forced to break camp and leave due to the shutdown.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop moved the city's Fourth of July fireworks and festival from Liberty State Park to Exchange Place due to the shutdown. And a 5K fundraiser for the New Jersey Special Olympics was canceled, costing the organization roughly $40,000 in donations.
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