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Major Figure In Chris Christie's NJ Pension Scandal Resigns

Firms that made political contributions got NJ pension business, despite laws forbidding it.
Major Figure In Chris Christie's NJ Pension Scandal Resigns
Image from: Gage Skidmore

Very interesting to those of us who are watching the Christie administration soap opera. I find it bizarre that members of the corporate media still treat him as a viable candidate for president -- I think he'll be lucky to get away without an indictment!

As Chris Christie draws closer to a run for president, there's intensifying scrutiny of donations flowing to his political organizations from executives at financial firms that manage ever-larger slices of New Jersey's $80 billion state pension system. Now, the Christie political confidant at the center of many of those questions is resigning.

During today's meeting of the New Jersey State Investment Council, private equity executive Robert Grady announced he is stepping down from the chairmanship of the panel. Christie has called Grady a "friend of mine for nearly 40 years" whom he relies on for political advice.

In recent months, campaign finance documents revealed that under Grady’s leadership, the state has awarded lucrative pension management contracts to hedge fund, private equity, venture capital and other so-called “alternative investment” firms whose executives made campaign contributions to Christie's campaign, his state party, the Christie-led Republican Governors Association and the Republican National Committee. The donations included a $10,000 contribution from Massachusetts Republican Gov.-elect Charlie Baker to the New Jersey Republican State Committee just months before Baker’s firm was given a New Jersey pension investment.

The donations were made despite New Jersey and federal rules aiming to restrict contributions to state officials like Christie who oversee pension investment decisions.

Documents uncovered by International Business Times showed that Grady, a former Carlyle Group executive, was in regular communication with Christie’s campaign officials at the time the campaign was raising money and he was overseeing the state's pension investments. Grady pushed New Jersey to move pension money into an investment in which his private financial firm was also investing, documents revealed. New Jersey also invested in Carlyle Group funds during Grady's tenure, though he recused himself from final votes on those investments.


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