We have the full letter that Assemblyman Gary Schaer sent yesterday to NJ Attorney General Paula Dow and US Attorney Paul Fishman, requesting they launch a full investigation into the hiring of former Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Speziale was a key player in Passaic Democratic politics and his sudden exit is raising questions that Speziale was a beneficiary of a politically-motivated deal orchestrated by Passaic GOP Chair Scott Rumana – and with cooperation from Gov. Chris Christie – set up to excise a key Democratic pillar in Passaic and boost the GOP’s election chances there in the November election. This follows a Sept. 14 Passaic Freeholder Board resolution urging “appropriate law enforcement agencies” investigate circumstances behind Speziale’s appointment.
Speziale was heading into a fall re-election for his fourth 3-year term, and had amassed a $1 million warchest, a very likely re-elect. His exit was abrupt and sent Passaic Democrats into chaos. No doubt that Speziale, who got a high-paying new job, landed soft. The question for Schaer and others is what, if anything, did GOP players including the Governor do to engineer that exit, and whether it was engineered for political opportunism. In his letter, Schaer cites a Sept. 15 article in The Record quoting Rumana saying he helped arrange Speziale’s Port Authority job, with the Christie administration.