of New Jersey
WHEREAS, it has been a top priority of this administration to repair public trust and restore confidence in government; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that public officials at all levels of government earn and maintain the confidence of the people they represent; and
WHEREAS, those serving in State, county, municipal, and other local government units hold positions of public trust that require adherence to the highest ethical standards of honesty and integrity; and
WHEREAS, public officials should not engage in any conduct that violates the public trust or creates an appearance of impropriety; and
WHEREAS, the residents of New Jersey are entitled to a government that is effective, efficient, and free from corruption, favoritism, and waste; and
WHEREAS, this administration has demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring the highest ethical standards in government contracting and permitting processes, and to rooting out corruption, favoritism, and waste; and
WHEREAS, recent public events revealed evidence of shocking acts of political corruption, including actions that may involve, directly or indirectly, State programs administered by departments and agencies of State government; and
WHEREAS, while some public officials charged with acts of corruption appropriately resigned from public office, others have seen fit to remain in office, despite overwhelming calls from all sectors for them to resign; and
WHEREAS, because of the nature of the reported conduct on the part of these local officials charged with corruption, and particularly those who choose to remain in office, and in furtherance of this administrationís commitment to ensuring the integrity of all State approval processes, it is appropriate to provide for additional scrutiny of applications for State approvals that involve jurisdictions headed by officials charged in the corruption probe who remain in office;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- All departments, divisions, offices, and agencies of State government, including but not limited to the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Transportation, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, shall identify, as soon as possible following issuance of this Order, all applications or other requests for approvals with respect to any development project or other related undertaking located in a municipality where the sitting mayor has been charged with a public corruption crime.
- Each department or other State entity shall take appropriate action to immediately suspend any approval or application for any development project or other related undertaking located in any municipality where a mayor charged with a public corruption crime remains in public office.
- Each department or other State entity that identifies one or more applications as described in paragraph 1 of this Order shall undertake a thorough and comprehensive review process with respect to any such application, and shall enforce strict standards to ensure the absence of improper influence, or the appearance thereof, and full compliance with law. Each department or entity is hereby authorized to call upon any other department, office, division, or agency of this State, including the Office of the State Comptroller, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Office of the Attorney General, as may be necessary and appropriate, to supply it with information, personnel, or assistance available to such agency as the department or entity deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division, or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the department or entity and to supply such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. An application or approval may proceed only after such review takes place and upon a departmental determination that the application has been lawfully submitted and is free from improper influence, or any wrongdoing, or the appearance thereof.
- Each department or other State entity that identifies one or more applications as described in paragraph 1 of this Order shall report such finding to the Office of the Governor not later than seven days following the issuance of this Order, and shall provide periodic updates, as appropriate.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 3rd day of August
Two Thousand and Nine, and of the Independence of
the United States, the Two Hundred and Thirty-Fourth.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ William J. Castner, Jr.
Chief Counsel to the Governor