New Jersey Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho has asked the State Commission of Investigation to launch a probe into allegations that Princeton Gerrymandering Project head Sam Wang manipulated data while serving as a paid advisor to the independent tiebreaker on the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission.
“If Wang cheated to support his personal interest of helping Democrats, his actions could impact the partisan composition of New Jersey’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives and even control of Congress itself,” Oroho said. “This is extremely alarming.”
The tiebreaker, former Supreme Court Justice John E. Wallace, Jr., said in court filings that he relied on Wang’s data to pick the Democratic map in New Jersey’s congressional redistricting process.
The state paid Wang $15,375 for his work on drawing new congressional districts, and Oroho wants to determine if data manipulation deprived New Jersey “of his honest, unbiased, and impartial service.”
The New Jersey Globe reported on Thursday that Wang is the target of an internal investigation at Princeton University for research misconduct and toxic workplace issues.
Oroho asked Democrats to join him in calling for an investigation by the SCI, which has subpoena power and the statutory authority to refer a matter directly to a grand jury.
“New Jersey Democrats have an opportunity to demonstrate they are willing to stand up to efforts to subvert our nation’s democratic process, including when the alleged wrongdoing benefits them politically,” stated Oroho.
The Senate minority leader also noted that Gov. Phil Murphy has the authority to order the SCI to conduct the investigation.
“If he truly believes that partisanship should be put aside to protect our democratic institutions and processes, he should order an investigation immediately,” Oroho said.
A spokesperson for the SCI declined comment.
“The SCI does not comment on any requests for investigations or on any ongoing investigative matters,” she said.