NJ Investment Council Turnover

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:18A the New Jersey State Investment Council, which oversees the investments of the state retirement system, is comprised of sixteen (16) members. Nine members are appointed by the Governor. As of January 26, 2018 there were twelve (12) members with four (4) vacancies, all governor appointees. Under new governor Phil Murphy there will be a total overhaul, according to David Wildstein:

Among the council members who were not reappointed was former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, the son of the former governor, who led Christie’s bipartisan commission on benefits for public employees.  Murphy has not yet announced who the chairman will be.

It’s not unusual for a governor to put their own team in place. Christie axed Orin Kramer, a major Democratic fundraiser who had been named by Gov. Jim McGreevey.  As a gubernatorial candidate in 2009, Christie lambasted Gov. Jon Corzine for reappointing three council members who had supported investments that lost $25 billion in 2008, including $178 million in Lehman Brothers.

Christie named Bob Grady, a campaign advisor and former George H.W. Bush administration official, to replace Kramer.  He picked Byrne when Grady stepped down in 2014.

Among Murphy’s nominees are:

To which Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) reacted:

“I am very concerned that the Murphy administration seems to be purging qualified, intelligent public servants – with no regard to the high caliber of work they have done for the people of New Jersey, and the continued value they are throwing away. Working for Christie should not immediately disqualify someone from working for this administration. I sincerely hope that the next chairman of the State Investment Council will serve our state as honorably as Tom did. That person certainly has big shoes to fill.”

 

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