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Two Republican legislators cited a scandal involving secret bank accounts in a Bermuda political campaign in questioning Gov. Phil Murphy’s appointment of Derrick Green to the New Jersey Public Bank Implementation Board.
“The audacity and carelessness of this administration to include a person who just last year was outed by NorthJersey.com as tied to a significant campaign finance scandal in Bermuda is concerning at best,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale).
Schepisi referred to reports that a Bermudan police investigation found that about $350,000 from an unnamed American donor were made to an account set up for the Bermuda Democratic Alliance “disappeared after Green and a colleague withdrew almost all of it.”
Senate Minority Conference Leader Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) said that the decision to appoint Green showed bad judgment by Murphy.
“This administration continues to demonstrate questionable judgment in its hiring practices,” said Corrado. “Derrick Green was involved in a political scandal that brought down a government as a result of a missing $350,000. Only Phil Murphy would put someone like him on a board to create a bank.”
Earlier this year, Corrado had questioned the hiring of Green while still facing an investigation into the Bermuda scandal.
According to the same report, Green was forced to give up a consulting firm he ran in Maryland four years ago after not filing legally-required financial reports.
“These are strong disqualifications to be on the public bank implementation board. His recent public corruption and fraud allegations should be of great concern. Governor Murphy is once again intentionally ignoring significant issues involving someone within his administration and doing so conspicuously,” said Schepisi. “It is a disturbing trend.”
Green was paid more than $2 million as a consultant for Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign, according to Corrado.
Corrado and Schepisi both served on a special select committee that investigated the hiring of Al Alvarez by the Murphy administration.
Murphy named Green, a senior advisor to the Governor, as one of fourteen appointments to the board, created by an executive order he signed today.
A public bank was one of Murphy’s proposals during his 2017 gubernatorial campaign.
“Leveraging state resources to provide greater access to capital for our communities, small businesses, municipalities, and students is an important component of building a financially inclusive New Jersey,” Murphy said. “With the creation of this implementation board, I am proud to take the first step toward ensuring that our taxpayer dollars are invested here in New Jersey.”
Commissioner of Banking and Insurance Marlene Caride will chair the board.
This story was updated at 3:10 PM to include comment from Corrado.