TRENTON - The Attorney General's Office yesterday said it would review the conduct of the head of the state troopers union, who threatened to release the home addresses of two well-known radio shock jocks in retaliation for broadcasting a story he says was irresponsible.
A spokesman for Attorney General Stuart Rabner said the matter had been referred to the Office of State Police Affairs, which examines trooper practices.
"We are reviewing the entire incident," said spokesman David Wald.
At issue is a Thursday news conference in which David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association, called out Ray Rossi and Craig Carton - New Jersey 101.5-FM's "Jersey Guys" - for publicizing postings to a message board on the password-protected trooper union Web site. The authors of the anonymous postings were promoting a speeding ticket blitz to get back at the public for criticism of Gov. Corzine's driver, Trooper Robert Rasinski, in the high-speed April 12 crash that left the governor critically injured.
Jones said the chatter had no merit, and no ticketing campaign had resulted - an assertion echoed by state police spokesman Capt. Al Della Fave, who said, "We would not allow it."
Jones accused the radio hosts - whom he called "clowns" - of unnecessarily pitting the public against troopers. Since the message board rants were publicized, Jones said, motorists were challenging troopers during routine traffic stops.
As cameras rolled, Jones held up a piece of paper containing personal information about Carton, including his home address and license plate number, and threatened to release it - as well as information about others associated with the show.
"I am going to make sure everybody knows, until they get their act together, who these people are, where they live, what they do, and how it is they are misleading the public and creating this furor," Jones said.
Carton and Rossi cut their program short that day, saying they were going home to protect their families, and the station asked for a review of Jones' conduct by authorities.
Della Fave said yesterday that the force had asked the Attorney General's Office - which oversees the Department of Law and Public Safety, including state police - to review tapes of the news conference.
"They're going to take a look at it and make a decision as to whether it was appropriate or not," Della Fave said.
In a statement, Col. Joseph "Rick" Fuentes, the state police superintendent, said he had met with Jones and asked him not to release any personal information of anyone at the radio station.
Jones, Fuentes said, "agreed to comply with this request."
In an interview yesterday, the state trooper union chief also said he welcomed a review of his actions.
"Any allegation or complaint that is brought forward from within or outside the division gets fully investigated, and that's perfectly understandable," he said.
It was not immediately clear what would happen if the Office of State Police Affairs determined that Jones, himself a trooper with the state police organized-crime unit, had behaved inappropriately.
"I can't speculate," Wald, of the Attorney General's Office, said.
Della Fave said: "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Della Fave said he had met with managers of the radio station yesterday morning and that the meeting went well.
In a statement released yesterday, the radio station and its parent company, Millennium Radio, confirmed meeting with Della Fave and Fuentes and said they had "received assurances" from both men "that a full investigation is taking place regarding the irresponsible actions of David Jones."
In a separate statement, Carton and Rossi said they and their families were being protected around the clock as a result of Jones' "maniacal ranting, threats and harassment."
"This situation will not, however, stop me from doing my job in both entertaining our listeners and breaking and reporting legitimate news stories such as abuses of power throughout the state," the pair said in the statement. "The show will not change, nor will my approach to how I do it."
Jones, meanwhile, reiterated that some things were better left unpublicized and that the radio hosts - who are known for igniting controversy and in 2005 famously raised the ire of then-Gov. Richard J. Codey for mocking women with postpartum depression - had unnecessarily fueled controversy.
If he had seen a spike in tickets after the postings were brought to his attention, Jones said, "I'd take care of it."
But there was no increase in tickets, he said. So instead, he said, "I put a statement out to [union] members and said we won't tolerate a job action of any sort."
And then, he said, he deleted the postings.