Now it’s officially off-the-rails ugly.
A day after the Guadagno Campaign zapped Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s (R-16) tax plan in a cable television ad, the Ciattarelli Campaign retaliated, reaching back to their rival’s tenure as sheriff of Monmouth County in an effort to make her campaign squirm.
Ciatttarelli rebutted the Guadagno ad here.
Then doubled down.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno should publicly release the five-page memo containing findings by the Department of Criminal Justice (DCJ) resulting from its investigation into pension fraud and double-dipping allegations in Monmouth County while she served as sheriff, Ciattarelli said today.
New Jersey Watchdog’s Mark Lagerkvist alleged that Guadagno “made false and conflicting statements that enabled her chief officer, Michael Donovan, to collect an $85,000 a year pension in addition to his $87,500 salary.” The PFRS Board of Trustees referred the matter to DCJ for investigation, stating that: “The concerns raised are that the taxpayers of New Jersey are being defrauded.” (Source: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/01/05/state-shuts-door-on-guadagno-pension-fraud-probe-but-questions-remain/)
While the Superior Court of the New Jersey Appellate Division ordered some records released after a lawsuit by Lagerkvist, the five-page memo with the findings of the investigation remained sealed and the probe died.
That’s not good enough, said Ciattarelli.
“Republican voters deserve to know the findings of this investigation,” said Guadagno’s rival in the Republican Primary for governor. “The Lt. Governor has a responsibility to clear the air on this troubling issue now. Republican voters need to know the truth. The fact is, if the Lt. Governor were to be the Republican nominee, Phil Murphy and the Democrats will hammer away at this issue relentlessly starting the day after the primary.”
The Guadagno Campaign shot back.
“It’s laughable that High Tax Jack is bringing up a 10-year old story that’s been fully investigated and is now old news, but it just shows how desperate Jack has become because of his lagging poll numbers,” said Guadagno Spokesman Ricky Diaz. “What’s not funny, however, is High Tax Jack’s plan to raise income taxes by more than $600 million if elected.”
But Ciattarelli said the Christie-Guadagno administration’s failure to appoint an independent investigator to look into the matter, and the conflict-of-interest posed because Guadagno was Deputy Director of DCJ prior to the probe and had supervised much of the staff that investigated the matter, “only raised more questions and suspicions.”
“To say taxpayers hate double-dipping would be an understatement. Lt. Governor Guadagno’s efforts to enable a political ally to double-dip is deeply troubling. For the good of the Republican Party and in the interest of full disclosure, it is time for the Lt. Governor to come clean on this once and for all,” said Ciattarelli. “Even Bill Spadea, one of Lt. Governor Guadagno’s biggest proponents, previously shined a light on this issue on his Chasing New Jersey program.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLjq6cHLFx4)