Tags: | Chris Christie | New Jersey | pension funds | GOP donor

Report: Christie Didn't Fully Disclose Pension Cash to Donor's Firm

Image: Report: Christie Didn't Fully Disclose Pension Cash to Donor's Firm
(Dominick Reuter/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 12:32 PM

Although New Jersey rules require the state government to cancel investment contracts with firms whose officials raise or donate money to his political campaigns, Gov. Chris Christie's administration "has paid more than $16 million in pension fees to the financial firm that was led by Christie's chief fundraiser and top donor, Jon Hanson," the International Business Times (IBTimes) reported.

The money — far more than previously disclosed — went to Prudential Financial, Hanson's firm, and its related funds that New Jersey's state pension system has invested in.

The new information was obtained through an open records request by the IBTimes. Its disclosure comes at a time when New Jersey officials have launched an investigation into whether Christie's administration has fully disclosed all fees paid to financial companies.

Some of the executives of these firms made donations to Republican groups supporting the New Jersey governor.

New Jersey Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff has attributed higher fees reported this year to a decision by officials to publish performance fees, terming the move a step toward "enhanced transparency."

But according to the IBTimes, his claim (and those made by other employees of the governor) suggest that the state had not acknowledged hundreds of millions of dollars in pension fees, even though reports by the state's Treasury Department had said that all of them were being disclosed.

Under New Jersey law, it is illegal "to make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit" key details in financial statements about securities.

Tom Bruno — chairman of the pension's board of trustees that is launching the probe — stated that the new Prudential-related figures provided by the Treasury Department "validate the decision of the Board of Trustees to get to the bottom of this so that we might take the necessary measures to ensure the integrity of the Fund and its management."

The IBTimes reported that in September, Christie administration officials provided documents which said that between 2010 and 2013, New Jersey paid $6.5 million in fees associated with Hanson's firm. But the website reported that it has obtained documents showing the state paid $13.8 million — more than double the previously disclosed amount.

Last month, New Jersey officials said they would review the Christie administration's proposed $100 million investment of pension funds in KSL Capital, headed by Mike Shannon, a major donor to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which was headed by Christie until this year.

Shannon and his wife reportedly gave $2.5 million worth of donations to the RGA in 2013 and 2014.

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Gov. Chris Christie's administration "has paid more than $16 million in pension fees to the financial firm that was led by Christie's chief fundraiser and top donor," the International Business Times reported.
Chris Christie, New Jersey, pension funds, GOP donor
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2015-32-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 12:32 PM
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