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What!?! New Jersey #1 in Laws to Fight Corruption

Survey praises state's laws on open records, campaign finance disclosures, public integrity. Over the years, though, Woodbridge pols have had their issues.


A new study ranks New Jersey tops in the nation for its procedures for uncovering corruption.

In a report released Monday, the Center for Public Integrity rated all 50 states in terms of their laws for public records access, requiring reports of campaign donations, accountability of all three branches of government, state budget transparency, civil service procedures, purchasing procedures, lobbyist disclosure, audits, pension fund management, ethics bodies, insurance regulation and redistricting.

"Keep in mind we're not measuring cases of corruption, but the systems in place to prevent it, and encourage openness and transparency in government," said Gordon Witkin, CPI's managing editor.

The report is likely a surprise for many state residents, who are accustomed to a steady drumbeat of arrrests of state and local officials for misuse of office. That includes the arrests of 44 people in 2009 for corruption and money laundering.

But the New Jersey's history of ethically-challenged politicos goes back much further, at least as far as a colonial governor, as the Wall Street Journal reported after the 2009 arrests.

has had its share of scandal over the years with its politicians. Former Mayor Walter Zirpolo, who served in office from 1962 to 1967, pleaded guilty in 1973 to federal charges of bribe taking in the construction of a pipeline. Zirpolo, who died in 1991, was sentenced to two to six years in prison; he was released from jail after serving 15 months.

More recently, former Governor Jim McGreevey, who rose to power from the mayoral seat in Woodbridge, made national news as he simultaneously announced his resignation and his homosexuality. McGreevey left the governorship in 2004 after sexual harrassment lawsuit threats from his ex-lover, an Israeli citizen McGreevey had appointed as the state's head of Homeland Security.

Bill Roberts March 20, 2012 at 04:36 AM
If they had been measuring cases of corruption, we'd have been #1 at that also. So what good are all these alleged safeguards.
Can't shut me up March 20, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I read this article and the first place I thought of was Woodbridge. The MOST corrupt town in NJ. After I stopped laughing hysterically I knew I had to blog. Obviously if you "kiss McCormac's ring or grease the palm" your safe and well treated. Between your mound of Poison Dirt and your Puppy Mill Store (Fancy Pup's/Rocco Garruto) and cops the beat you to an inch of your life, your out-of-control taxes, your shady red light camera's, your illegally voting Judge this town is a JOKE. Keep voting them "honorable" people in......LOL
amorrows March 22, 2012 at 05:58 AM
woodbridge township is a joke.. business owners run the township as officials to oversee businesses.. from police officers owning bars to township clerks favoring underage drinkers just to shut down competition.. can't believe they got big shots away with a slap on the wrist for getting someone drunk and that lead to a death of a police officer in perth amboy.. want to own a business in woodbridge.. get nominated for township official first... where are you internal affair? i could except new jersey being corrupt but to release a study that shows that its not.. or its good for uncovering corruption is absurd.. almost scare to post this comment.. might get a knock on my door .. or get caught with drugs on a "random" checkpoint..

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