Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt says that Gov. Phil Murphy’s direct involvement in decisions of a professional women’s soccer team he owns may have violated state law and wants the governor to ask their Advisory Ethics Panel to look into it.
“On his first day on the job, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order no. 2, which governs ethics in his office,” Steinhardt said.. “It’s time Phil Murphy calls balls and strikes on himself.”
Steinhardt cites published reports that Murphy called the top draft pick of Sky Flue FC, where he is the majority owner, to convince her to play in New Jersey.
“Governor Murphy needs to account to the people of New Jersey and prove that he will hold himself to some ethical standard,” Steinhardt said. “He needs to take personal responsibility for his decisions. In the spirit of good government and public transparency, he needs to go to the Advisory Ethics Panel and request a written ruling on whether he stepped out of bounds trying to salvage his sweat shop soccer team.”
The two-member ethics panel appears to still consist of two members appointed by Gov. Chris Christie, former acting attorney general John Hoffman and retired Superior Court judge Philip Mizzone, according to the governor’s office website.
“An inquiry of this magnitude cannot be delegated to the Governor’s senior staff, who have demonstrated repeatedly and under oath that they lack a clear understanding of the importance of ethical standards,” said Steinhardt “The Governor likes to say that the buck stops with him. Here’s his chance to put his money where his mouth is. It can’t be one set of rules for him and another set for everyone else.”
Murphy was also involved in decisions involving the management of the team last year, when shoddy working conditions surfaced in several published reports.