Judge Tosses Norcross Suit Against Murphy’s Task Force On EDA

NJTV News | August 2, 2019 | More Issues
Panel created by the governor is looking into questions about how tax incentives were awarded by the agency

Credit: NJTV News
George Norcross
Political powerbroker George Norcross this week suffered a critical blow in his attempt to silence the Murphy administration’s Tax Incentive Task Force which has been investigating the Economic Development Authority’s administering of corporate tax breaks.

Judge Mary Jacobson dismissed the complaint “with prejudice,” barring the case from being brought back to court.

Attorneys representing Norcross argued that Gov. Phil Murphy does not have the authority to investigate the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and that the task force was created specifically to target Norcross and tax incentives granted to Camden.

“We are grateful that this action against the Task Force on EDA’s Tax Incentives has been dismissed, allowing it to continue the important work of ensuring the EDA properly administered programs that distributed billions of taxpayer dollars,” said Murphy spokesperson Darryl Isherwood in a statement.

Dan Fee, a spokesperson for Norcross said in a statement that they were “disappointed” in the decision.

“The judge’s decision sets a dangerous precedent that this administration — or any administration — can hold investigatory hearings without allowing their targets basic Due Process rights,” said Fee.

As of Thursday there were no concrete plans for an appeal.

“The plaintiffs will review the Judge’s written decision in order to make a determination about whether and how to move forward,” said Fee.

In addition to the governor’s task force, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has convened his own panel on the tax incentive programs, which held its first meeting last week.

The suit’s plaintiffs maintain they will testify publicly if called upon.