A Republican New Jersey lawmaker supports legislation requiring the state attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor when a criminal complaint is filed against a sitting governor.
Republican Senator Jennifer Beck said it’s smart public policy.
“It gives more confidence to residents that this person is truly an independent actor and not biased in any way in conducting an investigation and rendering a decision,” said Beck, R-Monmouth.
That could help restore public trust in government, she said.
“From this past election, we should take away that our residents really don’t trust that our judicial system is always investigating and rendering unbiased opinions,” she said. “From the Hillary Clinton emails, to some of the reactions we have after police shootings, to Bridgegate.”
Sen. Ray Lesniak proposed the measure after a judge in Bergen County determined there’s probable cause to move ahead with a misconduct complaint filed against Gov. Chris Christie for the way he handled the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Only Beck and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg have signed onto the bill.
Lesniak, who has launched a petition drive to garner support from the public, has collected 5,000 signatures so far.
“When I get a bigger number and it looks like it’s growing exponentially daily, I ask those folks contact my fellow senators and ask them to join on,” said Lesniak, D-Union.