According to a report published today by NJ Advance Media, the New Jersey Attorney General has launched a corruption investigation into development deals in Camden, with South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross seemingly serving as a key focus of the investigation.
“NJ Advance Media learned many of the records sought by the subpoenas are related to companies, individuals and transactions that have been publicly tied to South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George E. Norcross III, who wields great influence in Camden,” NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman wrote.
Tax incentives in Camden have long been a subject of scrutiny from the governor’s office and from the opponents of Norcross’ Democratic machine. Early in his tenure, Gov. Phil Murphy commissioned a special task force to look into Norcross’ business dealings; the task force ultimately issued a report finding that the state’s Economic Development Authority had indeed favored special interests in Camden.
As for the new investigation, NJ Advance Media reports that the subpoenas issued so far – many of which come from investigators assigned to the attorney general’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability – indicate that it is tied to the previous allegations of corruption.
In a statement provided to NJ Advance Media, Norcross spokesman Dan Fee defended his boss and said that Norcross himself has not received a subpoena.
“Each and every time, there has been no wrongdoing found,” Fee said. “While it is unclear what the attorney general may be looking at – as neither George Norcross nor Phil Norcross have received a subpoena, nor has Conner Strong & Buckelew or Cooper University Health Care – there is no question the incentives have been a key part of the continued transformation of the city from America’s poorest, most violent city into a place where there is new hope and opportunity.”