Assemblywoman Pat Egan Jones defended State Police removing New Jersey Working Families Director Sue Altman from a committee hearing where South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross testified Monday.
“She wasn’t the first one,” Egan Jones said. “Others were removed that were not a part of her group … [The State Police are] very smart fellows, so I guess they saw where the problem was coming from, but other people were asked to leave before then.”
Police dragged Altman, a staunch Norcross critic, out of the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies hearing after a number of attendees cheered or booed after the first panel of witnesses gave their testimony.
The cheers came from union members allied with Norcross. The boos came from progressives who oppose him.
Committee Chairman Bob Smith told told officers to remove the “back row” in the packed committee room.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Smith was referring to the back row of protesters arranged on one side of the room or to protesters lining the back of the room, but Altman was in neither.
Norcross testified after the second panel of witnesses. Some other protesters were removed for booing after the second panel of witnesses finished their testimony, though none were dragged out.
Altman’s removal dominated coverage of the hearing, even drawing comment from presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who called the activist’s removal “outrageous.”
“I think she got what she wanted — attention,” Egan Jones said.
Egan Jones’ comments drew criticism from activist Justin Escher Alpert.