Want proof that not all Hudson County politicians are corrupt? Gov. Corzine has named Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner to an ethics task force assigned to examine local government and propose laws to anti-corruption reforms. Had Turner been appointed a safe driving committee, you’d be entitiled to think something’s out of whack here.
The mayor was driving a friend’s convertible earlier this summer when another car smacked into the front fender at the Baldwin Avenue intersection across from the Lincoln Tunnel approach — y’know, the turn that that sends you right into the path of an oncoming car. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, the other motorist was ticketed, and Turner was able to joke about it later.
The Weehawken mayor isn’t steering the ethics committee — that role goes to Ingrid W. Reed, policy analyst at the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics — but he’s expected to play an important role as a representative of the county whose official handshake is often under the table and whose official bird is the stoolie.
The mayor serves on the state Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board, which recommended him for the 11-member panel.
Although pocket book issues will swing this fall’s gubernatorial race, the arrests of three area mayors and several Hudson County elected officials has created a debating point for Corzine and his challenger, former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, whose one-time subordinates crafted the bulk of a case that led to 44 arrests, by the time the smoke-filled back room had cleared.
Working against Corzine: He created the panel nearly a year ago but only just got around to staffing it. The group has 10 months from when it first meets to produce a report.
That means we’re looking at next summer, the earliest.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.