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McGreevey 'Fall to Grace' Documentary Earns Spot at Sundance Festival

The volunteer work of the former NJ governor and longtime mayor of Woodbridge will be highlighted in a new film to be aired on HBO in March.


A documentary outlining the jailhouse ministery of former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has earned a spot at the renowned Sundance Film Festival.

'Fall to Grace', was produced and directed by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of former House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The film, created for HBO which will air in March, records the efforts of McGreevey to help reform the lives of women in a Hudson County jail.

Pelosi was intrigued by McGreevey, whom she called a "reformed politician" in an interview with Reuters.

"They wouldn't let him move on ... everyone writes him off because of some mistake he made before," Pelosi said.

The 'mistake' was an affair that the twice-married McGreevey had with another man while he was governor. McGreevey hired Golan Cipel, an Israel national and a former member of the Israeli Coast Guard, to head NJ's Homeland Security efforts. Indications that the affair with Cipel was about to erupt caused McGreevey to publicly resign in 2004, after calling himself "a gay American."

McGreevey, who started his political life as mayor of Woodbridge in 1991, entered an Episcopalian seminary after his gubernatorial resignation. He was also hired as a professor of Ethics at Kean University.

One of the requirements of his efforts to become an Episcopalian priest was to work helping those in need. That led to McGreevey to the Hudson County Correctional Center, where he volunteers for Integrity House, a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

McGreevey's mission has been to work with incarcerated women and helping them overcome drug addiction. That was the man whom Pelosi followed around for more than a year, documenting his efforts to help the jailed female inmates.

The former governor's attempts to become a priest have been put on hold, but he still continues his work with Integrity House. He also plans to attend the Sundance Festival where the film on his work will be showcased.

"I'm a broken person and many of us are broken," McGreevey told Reuters. "I don't always make the right decisions. I have failed, but that's everyone. Women in jail are also deserving of the same transformation and same redemption."

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JAS January 23, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Let He Among Us Without Sin - Be The First To Condemn!
Al McDorman January 23, 2013 at 02:52 PM
Fall To Grace is a great name. Jim doesn't respond well to Power, but responds well to structure and likes attention. He's in a good place now. Let him do good now. Being mayor and governor was like throwing gas on a fire for him.
Cosmicinnj January 23, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I disagree with other comments about the former Governors failure as the Mayor of Woodbridge, Sir IMO you did a great job compared to Peltzman, Vitale, and the maniacal Mr. Mac. Although you allowed the Middlesex Democratic Mob to take over Trenton and the fine state of NJ you always had time for the people of Woodbridge. As every politician and their constituents I didn't agree with a lot of your decisions like giving a nonqualified individual like Vitale your seat in the Senate, but after coming out I understand this was a personal favor for a like minded friend. Or bringing Chris Rafano into Woodbridge as a muni prosecutor, again a favor for the Middlesex County Democratic Mob from NB, but not good for the ppl of Woodbridge. As Governor you should have come down on this Machine before they came down on you. We here in Woodbridge knew you were gay but we supported you because we the people didn't care who you slept with. Repent and may God forgive you for what you've allowed to happen to the innocent.
gam January 23, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Cosmic and Al-I agree of some of what both of you have written. Personally I liked Jim-did he make some bad choices? Definitely. I believe that he had no idea just how much it would cost him personally and what he would "owe" others to rise quickly in the political circus. Perhaps if he had been more patient in the quest he wouldn't have been as beholden to others...I don't know. I wish him success and a happy life...
Tamara Winfrey January 23, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Every time this guy pops up the news again, all I can think of is him in his cute little pink t shirt: http://youtu.be/m0OXJneDQ1s

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