Jersey Journal

Poll: Should Christie Reimburse State For Security Detail's Travel Costs?

The Jersey Journal — Monday, August 31, 2015

By Ken Thorbourne / The Jersey Journal

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie ought to reimburse New Jersey taxpayers for the cost of jetting around his security detail and putting them up in hotel rooms.

That's the argument three groups are making in a lawsuit filed Friday in Mercer County.

The plaintiffs, which include the New Jersey Working Families Alliance and New Jersey Citizen Action, accuse Christie of violating his fiduciary duty to the state by forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of his security details' accommodations and other expenses while he's campaigning," the Associated Press reported.

They're also taking issue with any role state employees may have played in his campaign launch.

A spokeswoman for Christie's campaign and his office declined to immediately comment to the Associated Press.

But Christie has long argued his campaign shouldn't have to pay the costs for his Executive Protection Unit when he's traveling for political purposes because the state police protection is mandatory regardless of what he's doing.

"In the end, anywhere I go, the troopers need to go, whether I want them to go or not," Christie told reporters during a trip to New Hampshire the Associated Press reported. "So we're going to continue to conduct this in the same way I've always conducted it." Other governors have followed the same protocol.

His administration has spent more than $1 million on out-of-state security costs since Christie took office in 2010.

At least one other GOP presidential hopeful has taken a different tack.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's presidential campaign is covering all travel-related costs for his trooper protection, his spokeswoman AshLee Strong told the Associated Press.

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