In a single dinner at an Italian restaurant in Jersey City, Jim McGreevey may have debunked Mayor Steve Fulop’s accusation that the former governor was fired for misappropriating funds.
Last Friday, McGreevey was spotted having dinner at Laicos, a popular local eatery, with U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito. They were joined briefly by Mike Kelly, the Jersey City police chief, according to two sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
McGreevey was fired from his job as executive director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Program this month at the direction of Fulop.
Fulop has been closed-mouthed about the circumstances that led him to turn on McGreevey, a longtime political ally whose prisoner re-entry program has won considerable praise.
The idea floated by Fulop that McGreevey might have played fast-and-loose with public funds can be deflated. Carpenito wouldn’t go anywhere near McGreevey if he thought something was wrong, and Fulop would have notified the Justice Department if he believed there was any wrongdoing involved. The program McGreevey runs receives federal funding.
“There was a lot of laughing going on at that table,” one source said, suggesting that the tone of the dinner was social. “There was a nice bottle of red wine.”
Laicos is a high-profile place and McGreevey, who reportedly picked the restaurant, has been around the block a few times.