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New Jersey Assemblymen Allegedly Behaving Badly – Should They Step Aside [POLL]

NJ Legislature
NJ Legislature

Last week I asked the question
as to whether Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, who was suspected of driving while under the influence, refused a breatholizer test…saying last Wednesday he “didn’t realize the consequences of not taking the Breathalyzer.”

This is especially troublesome especially in light of the fact that Moriarty is the sponsor or cosponsor of a few bills that deal with drunk driving.

Should he step aside, at least temporarily, until the charges against him have been adjudicated?

Definitely….if because at the very least, they cause a distraction…and because his “ignorance” of the consequences of not taking the breatholizer looks bad.

Well, today there’s a new one.

According to this:

Assemblyman Robert Schroeder said today he will not step down from his elected office as a result of criminal allegations he wrote nearly $400,000 in bad checks to two people who invested in his company.

“I am not going anywhere,” Schroeder (R-Bergen) said this morning in a brief phone interview. “This has nothing to do with my legislative office; it’s a private matter.”

Schroeder, 52, of Washington Township, Bergen County, was charged Friday with passing bad checks, a second-degree crime that carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a $150,000 fine. He was processed by the State Police on Friday and released.

At a news conference today, Gov. Chris Christie said the charges were “troubling,” but stopped short of calling for the assemblyman’s resignation.

“I don’t call on public officials to resign until and unless they are charged by a grand jury,” Christie said. “If that happens, you will find that I will call for his resignation.”

Perhaps having friends in high places helps the Assemblyman…however the charges against him, albeit allegations at this stage of the game, still compromise the Assemblyman’s creditability; and as stated above…cause a distraction from the day to day ability one would have to carry out one’s daily duties.

Here’s the troubling quote:
“I am not going anywhere,” Schroeder (R-Bergen) said this morning in a brief phone interview. “This has nothing to do with my legislative office; it’s a private matter.”

Right, it has nothing to do with your legislative office; but as a private matter, still, in my view, compromises your ability to carry out the duties of your public office.

And besides, just to say “I am not going anywhere”…displays an extraordinary amount of hubris!

It would seem to me the Assemblyman would be wise to, again, temporarily, step aside.

Should public officials accused of wrongdoing step aside while charges against them are being investigated?


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