Politics
Politics

Chris Christie Faces Ethics Complaint

| by Sheena Vasani

A lawyer has filed a complaint with the State Ethics Commission against Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Lawyer Mario Blanch accused Christie of inappropriately using his position by lounging on Island Beach State Park on July 2 with his family and friends during a government shutdown, the New York Post reports.

"The governor and his family hold no special privileges over the residents and citizens of the state of New Jersey," reads Blanch's complaint, NJ.com reports. "By using the park, 'in direct contravention to the shutdown,' [Christie] utilized his position as governor ... to obtain benefits for himself and his family that members of the general public could not enjoy for themselves."

By receiving this "special benefit" as a result of his position, Blanch argues Christie went against the "Plain Language Guide to New Jersey's Executive Branch Ethics Standards."

While Christie has yet to respond to the complaint, he has previously refused to apologize for his actions.

"I don’t apologize for it," he said. "I don’t back away from it."

"I think I’ve proven over the last eight years, if I have a choice to make between my family and political optics, then I’m going to pick my family," Christie added. "Let’s be really clear -- that’s our residence. And we have a right to be there whenever we want to be there."

What's more, Christie insists it wasn't his intention to lounge around on the beach. Instead, he said he had simply spent the morning working and took a 40-minute break to chat with family and friends when he was caught on camera.

"They investigated and found out that a politician was where he said he was going to be, with who he said he was going to be with," Christie said. "Now, if they flew that plane over the beach and I was sitting next to a 25-year-old blonde in that beach chair next to me, that’s a story."

"I wasn’t sitting next to a 25-year-old blonde," he added. "I was sitting next to my wife of 31 years surrounded by my children and some of their best friends. If that’s a scandal, then that’s a scandal I’m guilty of every day of my life."

Despite his comments, many are still upset with the governor.

"That house belongs to the taxpayers," wrote one person on New York Post's Facebook page. "You know, the ones who were barred from the beach! But that's the GOP: all for me, none for you! He loved a view unmarred by commoners."

"He is just flaunting this in the face of the public who are barred," another added. "And yes, it is at the Governor's home, but why not go to another beach and not rub everybody the wrong way? It seems so arrogant."

Was this unethical of Christie to do?
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