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Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Steinhardt wants Brennan settlement probed

GOP chairman says payments skirt campaign finance laws

By Nikita Biryukov, May 18 2020 9:41 am

New Jersey Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt called for an investigation into a settlement the state entered with Katie Brennan that will see her preferred charity receives $800,000 in settlement payments from the New Jersey’s coffers.

“Governor Murphy uses taxpayer dollars to bail him out of all kinds of financial mismanagement, but he can’t skirt campaign finance laws, and it is illegal for him to use the State as his personal piggy bank to pay for his campaign committee’s scandals,” Steinhardt said.

The total settlement reached between Brennan, who is chief of staff and the state Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Murphy’s campaign and the administration is worth $1 million, though insurers retained by Murphy for Governor will only pay out $200,000.

Steinhardt is calling for a the Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate whether the state’s portion of the payment qualifies as a campaign contribution. He’s also pushing to see whether the campaign’s $200,000 payment will contribute to Murphy’s 2021 spending cap.

“I am happy that Katie Brennan is receiving some of the justice she deserves, but with more than 1.1 million New Jerseyans unemployed and billions of dollars in anticipated revenue shortfall, taxpayers have no business paying for the bad judgment and illegal behavior of the Murphy for Governor campaign committee and its employees,” Steinhardt said.

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