Senator Declan O’Scanlon Says that If He Had Known about Questionable Last-Minute Changes, He Would Have Opposed 2013 Tax Incentive Legislation

State Senator Declan O’Scanlon says that if the information about questionable last-minute bill changes to the Economic Opportunity Act made by an unregistered lobbyist - suggested to be Kevin Sheehan who has ties to South Jersey Democratic Party Power Broker George Norcross III - and he had known about these actions, O'Scanlon would have voted against the legislation.

State Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) today tweeted his reaction to The New York Times story that outlines questionable last-minute bill changes to the Economic Opportunity Act made by an unregistered lobbyist with ties to South Jersey Democratic Party Power Broker George Norcross III.

“If this is true, & I had been aware of it, I would have vehemently opposed the legislation,” O’Scanlon wrote of the 2013 act. “If the program was manipulated we should pursue and charge those who were responsible. Democrat, Republican, everyone. This would be a gross betrayal of the public trust.”

O’Scanlon later told InsiderNJ that at the time the EDA unequivocally seemed to be fairly administering the tax incentive program.

But in light of the information contained in the Times piece, worried about the undue influence of special vested interests and noted that “no one should be slavishly devoted to any program.”

“We have to pursue answers,” said the Monmouth County Republican.

InsiderNJ asked O’Scanlon if he is satisfied that state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is looking into the EDA tax incentive program, including a criminal referral supplied by Governor Phil Murphy’s EDA Task Force.

Does he believe the state would gain from the formation of a legislative oversight committee?

“I don’t want to be redundant.’ O’Scanlon said. “I want to dive into the details, certainly. We all have to care about this. But the attorney general has impressed me with his open-mindedness. I disagree with him on many policy fronts, let’s be clear, but not for one moment have I ever doubted his steadfast commitment to justice.”

From an official investigative standpoint, Grewal’s eyes on it are sufficient for the time being, the senator said.

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