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Christie Taking Heat Over Undisclosed Loan To Former Employee In U.S. Attorney's Office
Eric Kleefeld –
Chris Christie, the former U.S. Attorney and current Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey, is now getting a new headache over a story that was broken last night by New Jersey Public Television -- that in 2007, Christie made a $46,000 personal loan to an assistant of his in the U.S. Attorney's office, which is still being paid off in regular installments:
Christie said he did not view this as an improper financial relationship: "I just believe that if you have friends who are in need, that you help them, whether they work with you or whether they're friends of yours from outside the work realm. We were happy to be able to help, and they've been great about repaying the loan."
Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's campaign has pounced on the report, saying that a candidate for governor should not have an ongoing financial relationship with someone who is still working in the U.S. Attorney's office. "This raises more significant questions and legal issues for the Christie campaign," said Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy. "Are they still in contact? Have they been discussing this campaign? What impact has their ongoing financial relationship had on the gubernatorial campaign?"
The New York Times, meanwhile, points out another problem: Christie failed to report the loan on disclosure forms that are required at both the state and federal level: "Last year, in fact, Mr. Christie's office obtained an indictment against Dennis Oury, a Democratic lawyer in Bergen County, accusing him, in part, of filing false financial disclosure statements that omitted his stake in a company that was receiving public money. He awaits trial this fall."
The Times also notes that in the 2005, another gubernatorial candidate got in some trouble over an undisclosed loan that he'd made, and he filed an amended disclosure as a result: Jon Corzine.