Assemblyman Hal Wirths wants the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey to oversee an investigation by the Murphy administration into its own hiring practices, and he wants members of both houses to join him.
“History has proven that so-called independent investigations by past administrations into their own actions are fallible,” said Wirths. “Having the U.S. attorney to investigate the charges against Alvarez, and the handling of it by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and, obviously, the Murphy administration will avoid any further conflicts and allow us to find truth.”
It would mark the second time the feds oversaw an investigation led by Peter Verniero, the assemblyman noted. While attorney general for Governor Christine Todd Whitman, the Department of Justice investigated whether there was racial profiling by state police. Verniero had defended the state police in an appeal of a court case in Gloucester County that found state troopers used racial profiling in traffic enforcement.
Wirths said Murphy’s selection of Verniero raises questions of conflict of interest in this case, as the former attorney general is a partner at a law firm that has been awarded at least one public contract by the administration, and other partners fundraised for Murphy during his campaign.
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