Many, if not all, of the contributions deposited in NACo account may constitute gifts.
Questions about the financing of slush fund for Lou Magazzu’s failed bid for an office in the National Association of Counties (NACo) continue to be asked and Magazzu continues to hide behind lawyers, doing his best not to answer questions to the voters of Cumberland County.
Magazzu made the claim on September 4, 2009 to Politickernj.com that, “…some political supporters indicated that they wanted to be of assistance in my NACo run.” Of course that public statement led to questions about exactly how these ‘supporters’ knew to approach Magazzu about NACo. One obvious question is, did Lou Magazzu solicit any of these individuals prior to the Code of Ethics being modified on February 26, 2009? It seems a little odd that a contractor doing business with the county gave Magazzu a $5,000 gift on the same day the Code of Ethics was modified.
Because NACo-Gate continues to drag on Cumberland County Republicans continue to research the issue and have found yet another statute Magazzu appears to have violated in funding his NACo slush fund. Chairman Greco has sent this supplemental information to New Jersey’s Attorney General with a copy to the US Attorney for New Jersey.
“Lou Magazzu’s scheme to fund his NACo slush fund continues to send up too many red flags,” Cumberland County GOP Chairman Bob Greco said. “He continues to hide behind lawyers and not answer any of the questions asked.”
“Mr. Magazzu expects voters to believe political supporters just walked up to him and offered him checks for $5,000,” Greco continued. “Common sense makes that explanation tough to swallow. The fact that he received a $5,000 gift on the day the Freeholder Board voted to amend the County’s Code of Ethics appears to be an odd coincidence.”
“Given his various public statements I truly believe Magazzu led some of his contributors to believe they were giving to a Political Action Committee,” Greco added. “But then he did an about face on the issue of his NACo slush fund being a PAC and given the fact that the account is listed at his home address and it appears he opened that account as a personal account many, if not all, of the contributions deposited into that account may constitute gifts under the law.”
“I have sent supplemental information to the Attorney General as a follow up to my original correspondence and copied everything to the US Attorney,” Greco said. “This decision was not taken lightly, especially considering the Magazzu spin machine will attempt to make this something it isn’t. But given the many odd coincidences and the appearance of impropriety I believe it was a necessary step to take.”