Lawmakers agree to help U.S.
Two Bergen County lawmakers joined a third in saying they would cooperate with investigators.
TRENTON - Two more New Jersey legislators subpoenaed by federal prosecutors as part of an investigation into last-minute grants stuffed into the state budget have vowed to cooperate.
Assemblyman Robert M. Gordon, Assemblywoman Joan M. Voss and Sen. Paul A. Sarlo, all Bergen County Democrats, received subpoenas Tuesday from federal investigators seeking information about grants given to Hackensack University Medical Center in Bergen County through the state budget.
Gordon told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he would cooperate. Sarlo's chief of staff and Voss did the same yesterday.
All three offices said they're not the targets of any investigation.
The subpoenas seek documents back to Jan. 1, 2004. Chris Eilert, Sarlo's chief of staff, and Voss said they didn't expect their offices to have much information about the hospital. Gordon said the same thing Tuesday.
"I just really haven't come up with anything at this particular point in time, but whatever we have they're welcome to it," Voss said.
Gordon and Voss represent the 38th Legislative District, which includes 13 Bergen County communities and is also represented by Democratic Sen. Joseph Coniglio, who once had a $5,000-per-month consulting contract with the Hackensack medical center. Since 2005, the hospital has received $1.6 million in legislative grants.
Coniglio has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to cooperate. He received a subpoena in March.
The U.S. Attorney's Office didn't respond to a request for comment.
As part of the inquiry looking into whether lawmakers have benefited from the grants inserted into the state budget without public review, it has also subpoenaed documents from the governor's office, the governor's chief counsel, two state departments, legislative leaders and legislative staff.
Federal prosecutors have also subpoenaed documents from Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari (D., Union), Assemblyman Brian P. Stack (D., Hudson), and from West New York, where U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, a former Assembly speaker, was mayor.
Everyone who has been subpoenaed denied wrongdoing.
The investigation stems from a separate inquiry into Sen. Wayne R. Bryant (D., Camden), the former Senate budget chairman. Bryant was recently charged with bringing millions in state money to a state medical school in exchange for a no-work job, and using that and other posts to triple his taxpayer-funded pension. Bryant has pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court.