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View Diary: Hoboken mayor takes Christie allegation to U.S. attorney, lt. gov. denies political use of Sandy aid (123 comments)

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  •  Be careful... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, rebel ga, VClib, Skyye
    it's probably not a crime
    the use of discretionary relief funds is in the zone
    of executive discretion,  and lobbying for a project
    is also executive discretion,

    unless they can show a "Quid-Pro-Quo" for this,
    from a third party, it's not a crime.

    ...no one wants to hear this.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:59:18 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  yep, don't want to hear that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eviemarie, rebel ga

      that part is just sad, it's the business as usual thing that the Christie people are crouched behind.  What they want it to have something just against the law strictly speaking, or just dandy.  

      But there is an oath of office, and the duty is to those they represent, not to themselves, and this case is giving Dawn a choice, either sink the people one way, or they'll really sink, and that isn't business as usual.  Whatever the Christie people want anyone to think.  

    •  You don't get relief funds (5+ / 0-)

      Unless you approve this unrelated project?

      I think that's called extortion, a rather serious crime, no?

      "Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

      by penguins4peace on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:06:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not all that much different from (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pi Li, VClib, BvueDem

        saying, for example, I won't vote for the Affordable Care Act unless you send federal money to this completely unrelated project I want in my district.

        It's very unsavory.  But I don't see the criminal violation.  

        And remember, the more discretion the governor's office has in making the allocation of the funds, the less likely there's a criminal violation.  Public officials generally have immunity for discretionary acts performed by them without the legal bounds of their authority.  For a discretionary act to be criminal, you'd probably have to show some PERSONAL enrichment -- like money went into somebody's personal pocket.  If you have those kinds of facts, then you are talking about criminal behavior.  

      •  let's go to the law books (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/...

        Extortion
        The obtaining of property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.
        Property :  There are two issues of property 1) the federal
        relief funds 2) the zoning authority within a city.

        I don't think you have a property right in relief funds,
        it's discretionary,  and it's a bit of  stretch to say a city
        has a "Property" right in zoning,  it's probably by state law,
        so it's considered a right but the jury may not buy it.

        Then you got force, violence or fear, none of that.
        so "Color of Official Right".  That's a hard one, it's usually
        if a cop comes in  and lays a fine on you without due process
        or for personal benefit.

        Now, that said, between this and the GWB,  they just may impeach his ass.

        he's certainly wounded.

        •  NJ definition of property (0+ / 0-)

          ...is interpreted more broadly than the definition you have here:

          Theft by Extortion [N.J.S.A. 2C: 20-5]: a person is guilty of fact by extortion if he purposefully and unlawfully obtains the property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he or she purposefully threatens to take her withhold, as an official, or cause an official, to take or withhold an action. A person extorts if he or she inflicts any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor, but which is which is calculated to materially harm another person. The state must prove the defendant obtained the property of another, and property means anything of value including intangible personal property, services, and other intangibles. Property is broadly defined. Anything of value is defined as any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

          You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” --George Bernard Shaw, JFK, RFK

          by CenPhx on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:47:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  now that's interesting. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CenPhx, VClib

            but action is still a broad issue.

            see you have something if it's take a ministerial action
            or withhold ministerial action such as issuing a drivers
            license or a routine building permit,

            but,  executive discretion?

            Courts defer on that.

            and harming someone by proxy?  

            it gets a little fuzzy, but the law is broader, you have a point there.

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