Gov. Chris Christie’s $300 million Statehouse renovation plan has received much criticism, including from his Lt. Gov. and Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno.
Now two lawsuits have been filed against the governor and the Economic Development Authority — including by two gubernatorial candidates.
The first lawsuit lists Sens. Ray Lesniak, Christopher Bateman and Mike Doherty, who are accusing the administration of cheating the Legislature and disregarding constitutional protections for taxpayers by routing renovation funds through unelected panels, according to nj.com.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski released a statement Monday stating he, too, filed a lawsuit on May 12, prior to the joint suit.
Both Lesniak and Wisniewski are gubernatorial candidates.
Wisniewski said he filed suit to halt the statehouse renovations altogether, accusing the governor of wasting taxpayer money and routing funds “through a series of shell games.”
“The shell game begins with the State Capitol Joint Management Commission (JMC) leasing the Statehouse for just $1 to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). The EDA then leases the Statehouse right back to the JMC. The whole purpose of this runaround is to enable the Management Commission to disguise debt payments as rent payments, rent payments on a building the people already own. It doesn’t pass the smell test, and it doesn’t adhere to the laws of New Jersey,” Wisniewski said in his statement.
“Nothing exemplifies what’s wrong with New Jersey more than Chris Christie renting the people’s house out for a buck.” He said. “The people of New Jersey are fed up with cigar-filled backroom deals that only make money for Trenton insiders.”