Newark, NJ – Today, New Jersey Citizen Action called on the New Jersey Assembly to initiate impeachment proceedings against Governor Christie. The announcement comes amid mounting calls, including 7 newspapers and members of his own party, for Governor Christie’s resignation.
The New Jersey State Constitution holds that “the Governor and all other State officers, while in office and for two years thereafter, shall be liable to impeachment for misdemeanor committed during their respective continuance in office,” which is a lower standard than the Federal standard of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Official Misconduct is a misdemeanor in New Jersey, and New Jersey’s Courts have held for over 50 years that misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance for personal gain each constitute Official Misconduct.
Executive Director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye said in a statement:
Governor Christie has selfishly used his position as Governor to punish his enemies, richly reward his friends and campaign contributors, and run for higher office at our outrageously large expense. He has been largely absent from New Jersey for more than two years. And what’s more, Chris Christie’s incompetence has cost our state hundreds of millions in federal aid that would have helped people in need or given a boost to our state’s flailing economy.
After yesterday’s press conference it is clear that Governor Christie has no intention of stepping aside. He wants to “squeeze the juice from the orange,” no matter the damage done to our state, our economy, and our residents. So it is imperative that the Assembly initiate impeachment proceedings. While Chris Christie is not a convicted criminal, he has clearly committed misdemeanors that are impeachable offenses, including but not limited to spending 261 days of 2015 out of state, losing millions in federal aid for Hurricane Sandy relief and Race to the Top due to incompetence, and misappropriating millions in taxpayer dollars for friends, allies and campaign contributors.
New Jersey Citizen Action will be launching a coordinated effort with grassroots and organizational support to work alongside the Legislature to hold formal impeachment proceedings.
While New Jersey Citizen Action is the first organization to call for Governor Christie’s impeachment, Senator Loretta Weinberg raised the possibility of impeachment, for dereliction of duty (nonfeasance) on Wednesday in an interview with the New York Times.