Home>Highlight>Smith hasn’t heard from AG’s office over Altman removal

State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway)

Smith hasn’t heard from AG’s office over Altman removal

By Nikita Biryukov, December 09 2019 3:27 pm

State Sen. Bob Smith said he hasn’t heard from the attorney general’s office in relation to its investigation of the removal of an activist from a Senate committee hearing last month.

“We called and said ‘when are you coming for an interview?’ They said ‘we’ll get to you,’ so I’m waiting for a call, but we called over saying we thought we were going to be interviewed,” Smith said.

State Police dragged NJ Working Families Director Sue Altman out of a Senate Economic Growth Strategies Committee hearing after supporters of South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross cheered and protesters booed following the testimony of the hearing’s first panel of witnesses.

Following a rule he set out at the start of the hearing, smith called for the “back row” to be removed. That area was occupied by union members backing the kingmaker.

“They were the only people I could see,” Smith said.

The union members were escorted out, but Altman, who was in a different part of the room was forcibly dragged out of the room.

It’s yet unclear why Altman was removed, though the activist has claimed she was targeted.

On Nov. 18, the day of the hearing, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s office told the New Jersey Globe the New Jersey Globe it would contact Smith about his decision to have audience members removed “in the coming days.”

Smith has, so far, defended his handling of the sometimes-raucous hearing.

“You set up a rule, you gotta apply it to everybody,” he said.

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