In response to an explosive report by WNYC detailing allegations of fraud and abuse New Jersey Economic Development Authority during the Chris Christie Administration, New Jersey Working Families interim director Rob Duffey said:
“This damning report suggests Chris Christie’s EDA turned a blind eye to fraudulent tax incentive applications, cooked their own books, and rushed through massive tax giveaways to big corporations. If these allegations are true, people should go to jail.
“These revelations should disgust but not surprise New Jersey taxpayers. For years, Democratic legislators worked hand in hand with Chris Christie to turn the EDA into an unaccountable corporate welfare machine that funneled billions of dollars to profitable, politically connected businesses. Now we’re seeing the ugly but predictable results.
“The programs that allowed corruption to take root at the EDA are up for renewal this year, and New Jersey taxpayers literally cannot afford politics as usual. Gov. Murphy has proposed sensible limits and reforms on the state’s tax incentive programs, and legislators should adopt them. Attorney General Gurbir Singh Grewal, who is already investigating potential fraud and abuse within the EDA, should review the allegations outlined in the WNYC story and prosecute any instances of illegal activity. And critically, Gov. Murphy and legislators should come together and agree to an immediate moratorium on all EDA awards until there is a full and independent audit of Christie-era subsidies.
“New Jersey taxpayers deserve better than what elected leaders in Trenton allowed to take place at the EDA under Chris Christie. Now Democratic lawmakers have a chance to turn the page and clean house. They should take it.”
New Jersey Working Families is an independent political organization that fights for progressive policies and recruits, trains, and elects the next generation of progressive champions. Since 2010 it has been a leader in the fight for greater accountability and transparency at the NJ EDA.