Bids sought before N.J. project OK’d
TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie’s administration sought to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate New Jersey’s deteriorating Statehouse four months before the project was authorized, cutting out the public in a process a bipartisan group of lawmakers describe as “rigged,” according to interviews and documents.
The Christie administration put out a request for proposals for a finance company to sell bonds to rehabilitate the building in December and selected RBC Capital Markets in January, months before an April meeting of a joint legislative-executive branch committee that approved the project, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.
The Republican governor said everything was done legally and has defended his handling of the project.
“They’re dealing with the insiders before they’re letting the voters know,” said Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski.
Current and former Treasury officials say there’s nothing unusual about seeking bids on a project before final project approval.