Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Peter Harvey is at it again . . .

First he allowed the elected Democrats in Trenton play politics with anti-terror funding, and now he is getting into a pissing match with Acting Governor Codey and the state's Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT). In short, Attorney General Harvey stripped counterterrorism director Sidney J. Caspersen of up to 20 state troopers assigned to the OCT. Harvey was able to do so because he controls the state police but does not have total control (or complete oversight) over the OCT (which was created by former Governor McGreevey and at one point was headed by the now infamous and completely unqualified Golan Cipel).

Its clear that this was a turf war between Harvey, who wants total control over counter-terrorism, and Codey/Caspersen, who obviously want to keep much of the control (and maybe the limelight) in the hands of the governor.

Although I don't think splitting up the counter-terrorism efforts of the state between multiple agencies, i.e., the OTC and the AG's office, is the best way to operate the state's efforts, Harvey's power play was completely inappropriate. If he thought his office (and his way) was the best organization to handle the task, wouldn't a call to the governor's office and the suggestion of a meeting to discuss his plan (if he even had one) have been a better alternative?

Instead, he forced Codey to strip the Attorney General's office of budgetary and personnel decisions as they regard counter-terrorism efforts, transfer ten of the troopers back to the OCT and give the OCT the authority to hire 15 new investigators. In doing so, Codey stated that he was "disappointed with the decision by the Department of Law and Public Safety [New Jersey's Attorney General's office] to reassign state police from the Office of Counter-Terrorism without my input or consent."

Brilliant, Peter.

Can we please elect someone who will clean house in Trenton?

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Amen. And I like your blog. Good to see someone keeping an eye on Trenton.

Greg Scoblete
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