Five Republican senators urged Senate President Steve Sweeney to send preservation letters to the Department of Health and other administration officials.
State Sens. Tom Kean (R-Westfield), Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa), Steve Oroho (R-Franklin), Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) raised specific concerns over the recent firing of a senior health department official.
“Among other assertions, published reports have pointed to the possible misuse of federal funds and suggested that Assistant Commissioner Christopher Neuwirth was terminated in an attempt to hide misconduct within the Administration,” the lawmakers said in the letter.
The New Jersey Globe first reported Neuwirth’s ouster last week.
Murphy has repeatedly declined to say why Neuwirth was fired, citing a policy barring comment on personnel issues.
Sources have told the New Jersey Globe that Neuwirth’s firing was related to a side-job he held with Margolis Healy & Associates, a national emergency management consulting firm that is affiliated with the Cozen O’Connor law firm and was not noted on Neuwirth’s financial disclosure.
Others have told the New Jersey Globe that Neuwirth was one of several administration officials suspected of leaking embarrassing information about the inner workings of the administration during pandemic to reporters.
Neuwirth’s inclusion on that list was first reported by the (Bergen) Record.
The Republicans want to make sure he gets a preservation letter.
“These should include a general preservation letter covering the Department of Health at large, in addition to individual preservation letters directed to any and all persons implicated in the reports referenced above, including, but not limited to, Mr. Neuwirth,” they said.