Gifts to Gov. Christie are not 'gifts,' rules NJ attorney general
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones flew Gov. Chris Christie and his family to Texas on a charter plane to be his guests in a VIP luxury box at a football game in January.
- Billionaire casino owner Sheldon G. Adelson provided a private jet to fly the New Jersey governor and his clan to Israel in 2012.
- King Abdullah of Jordan picked up a $30,000 hotel tab for Christie and his entourage during the same trip.
The opinion enabled Christie to report he received no gifts during 2014 – just as he has since taking office in 2010.
The governor and other state officials are supposedly required to disclose all sources of income, including “honoraria, lecture fees, gifts and other gratuities (cash or non-cash) and other miscellaneous sources of income” in annual financial statements filed with the State Ethics Commission, as required by Executive Order 24.
But according to a six-page opinion from Hoffman, a gift does not have to be reported unless it is a gratuity – such as “money received for performing a service” or “items received in return for performing some service, such as speaking at an event.”
The bottom line, strange but true: Christie does not have to report the favors as gifts unless it can be shown he did something in exchange for them.
The full story is online at http://watchdog.org/220132/christie-gifts-nj/.