The Star Ledger was able to get the story I wasn’t. During my interview with Matt Friedman of the Star Ledger, the subject of NACo and Sweeney’s improper contribution came up. Rumors have been flying wild, and one story that I was told repeatedly (and repeated here) was not correct. Apparently Sweeney was NOT fined $5,000 for his contribution. But, in his own words, the contribution was improper. And in Lou Magazzu’s words, “Lou4NACo” was “incorrectly called a PAC” by Lou himself, even though that was an outright lie.
Months before former Cumberland County Freeholder Lou Magazzu’s career went down in flames over e-mailing nude photos of himself to a woman, Senate President Stephen Sweeney asked him for a refund.
In 2007, Sweeney donated $6,000 from his own campaign funds to Magazzu’s unsuccessful bid to be second vice president of the National Association of Counties.
That led to a complaint by Republicans and an investigation by the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency last year. So Sweeney asked Magazzu for the money back. Then, he informed the agency.
“I got the money back, deposited it and I think it satisfied (ELEC) concern,” Sweeney told The Auditor.
Question. Where does somebody that earns $16,000 a year come up with $6,000 cash out of the blue, to repay a debt? The IRS needs to look into this particular transaction.