Refusing to stand by and get painted as such, the Murphy Campaign asked Johnson to explain his solicitation of a $2,500 campaign contribution from NYC Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter — the official who awarded his firm the no-bid contract.
The Murphy Campaign drew a line from Johnsoon’s work product to the taxpayer-funded Mastro investigation into Bridgegate, which Governor Cris Christie claimed absolved him. The de Blasio administration awarded Johnson’s firm a similar contract to respond to federal criminal investigations into the city administration.
“The facts are clear: Jim Johnson has profited from political influence peddling and been a part of trying to whitewash it,” noted Murphy for Governor advisor Julie Roginsky. “Not only did Johnson take a $10 million no-bid contract, he solicited a $2,500 contribution from the same public official who awarded his firm the contract and then hired the political consultants paid by the organization reportedly under investigation. Jim Johnson is a walking conflict of interest.”
In a statement, Johnson Communications Director Aleigha Cavalier said, “We need a new era of ethics and honesty in Trenton, which is why Jim Johnson has called for a campaign spending cap, a ban on no-bid contracts, and brought forward a request for investigation into Phil Murphy’s campaign breaking New Jersey election law. As a typical politician with a typical response, Phil Murphy is trying to deflect by attacking Jim for actions taken by his law firm after he retired, which a simple Google search shows.”