Some allege that closing 2 lanes of the George Washington Bridge for 3 days in September 2013 was payback because Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich would not endorse Chris Christie for governor.
Is it true? Not according to Christie, who put the blame on a handful of appointees and aides he forced out or fired. Well...
It appears another batch of Christie appointees may have gone 'rogue' in a decision that smells like petty political payback.
GA is talking about the December 13 decision by the NJ Local Finance Board to overturn the ruling of the Honorable James A. Geraghty in Ravinder Bhalla, Petitioner vs The Local Finance Board, Respondent.
Judge Geraghty made a smart and sensible ruling; he threw out the complaint filed by Hoboken politico Perry Belfiore. Garbage in, garbage out. As a former City Councilman, the Judge understood that this is a complaint drenched in political animus. From the July 2, 2014 hearing transcript:
|TRANSCRIPT- July 2, 2014 hearing of Ravinder Bhalla vs The Local Finance Board|
Why would the NJ Local Finance Board tinker with a ruling by an independent judge when there is no state precedent for an alleged ethics violation resulting from a shared lease agreement?
It looks like the Board has gone out of their way to give Bhalla the finger. Which is sorta the same as giving the Mayor Zimmer the finger- a.k.a. the Trenton Tall Man.
Neither Zimmer nor Bhalla endorsed Christie. (They didn't endorse Buono, either.) Then Zimmer famously dropped the dime on the Christie administration for holding Hoboken's Sandy aid hostage to greenlighting a development project.
Folks, you know what they say: an elephant never forgets.
Whatever petty politics may be behind this reversal, it's a complete waste of taxpayer money. Judge Geraghty had it right the first time. This one has the stench of political payback.
Meanwhile, Councilman Bhalla has filed an appeal. But nothing stops our local fishwrap when they smell (Bhalla) blood in the water.