Stateside New Jersey: The State Paid Fees to Mary Pat Christie’s Firm After State Investment Was Terminated

Chris Christie Governor of New Jersey

Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey

By Elaine Magliaro

During the time that Chris Christie has spent serving as governor of New Jersey, the state “has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Wall Street firms as management fees on the state’s pension funds.” Although just a few hundred thousand dollars of that money has gone to a firm called Angelo Gordon, investigative journalist David Sirota thinks that the case warrants a closer look. In an article that he wrote for International Business Times, Sirota said that the financial firm Chris Christie’s wife works for has been paid fees by the state even after New Jersey terminated its investment with it. He reported that the New Jersey pension system had “terminated a $150 million investment in a fund called Angelo, Gordon & Co. in 2011…” Yet, he said, that did not “close the books on the deal.” Sirota added that in the three years since state officials ordered the withdrawal of the state’s money, taxpayers in New Jersey have still forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to the firm. He noted that while the fees continued to flow, “Angelo Gordon made a prominent hire: Mary Pat Christie, wife of Gov. Chris Christie…” She joined “the company in 2012 as a managing director and now earns $475,000 annually, according to the governor’s most recent tax return.”

The information about New Jersey taxpayers continuing to pay “substantial fees to a firm that employs the governor’s spouse–years after state officials said the investment was terminated”–emerged when the Christie administration released documents following a public records request.

Sirota reported that Christopher Santarelli, a spokesman for the New Jersey Treasury Department, said via email that while New Jersey “ended its investment” with Angelo Gordon in 2011, “the payments were legitimate because the state continues to hold an ‘illiquid’ investment in the firm.” Sirota said that Christie officials “declined to disclose details of what exactly that illiquid investment is and the justification for continuing to pay fees to Angelo Gordon.” He noted that Governor Christie, his wife, and executives at Angelo Gordon all declined to comment.


Pension overseers and financial experts characterized the appearance of the arrangement as deeply troubling. They saw it as symptomatic of a lack of transparency plaguing the management of public pension funds at a time when states and municipalities are entrusting increasingly hefty sums (and paying substantial fees) to Wall Street managers.

“This is extremely problematic,” Tom Bruno, the chairman of the board of trustees of one of New Jersey’s three major pension funds, said. “This governor talks about what he is supposedly doing to help the pension system, but the possibility of him and his family deriving any kind of personal benefit from a deal like this raises some truly serious ethical red flags.”

South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis Jr., a Republican official who has criticized high pension fees — and whose endorsement is prized in the early presidential primary state — said of the situation: “It smells to high heaven.”

Loftis told International Business Times that the appearance of a conflict of interest “is damning and must be avoided at all cost” when dealing with the retirement money of public employees. He said, “If the state of New Jersey has a previous existing relationship with the fund, [the first lady] needs to look for a job elsewhere. The public employees of New Jersey shouldn’t have to worry about whether politically connected financial executives have an effect on their pensions. They’ve worked too hard for those pensions. They deserve these pensions without being concerned about political meddling.” He added, “Governor Christie was smart enough to get himself elected governor, and his wife was smart enough to get herself appointed to a significant job at a high performing fund on Wall Street. People that smart ought to know better than to put themselves in this kind of position.”

Sirota said that “fees paid by New Jersey to financial firms have more than tripled to almost $400 million a year, including the fees paid to Mary Pat Christie’s firm” under Governor Christie. He added that Christie’s administration “has awarded pension management contracts to financial firms whose executives made campaign contributions” to political organizations linked to the governor. He noted, too, that “executives at Angelo Gordon have made more than a quarter-million dollars worth of donations to Republican candidates and groups since 2009.”

Robert Grady, Christie’s pension investment chief, reportedly resigned after recent disclosures about campaign contributions. Sirota said that the “state’s investments in politically connected Wall Street firms are now the subject of an ethics complaint filed by the New Jersey AFL-CIO…” In a statement, the labor organization said the following about the fees paid to Angelo Gordon: “We are as concerned as ever that these are terrible deals for taxpayers and pensioners.”


Click here to read the full text of David Sirota’s article New Jersey Paid Fees To Mary Pat Christie’s Firm After State Investment Was Terminated.


New Jersey Paid Fees To Mary Pat Christie’s Firm After State Investment Was Terminated (International Business Times)

Wall Street firm where Chris Christie’s wife works is pulling in New Jersey pension fees (Daily Kos)


Chris Christie Cuts Payments to State Pension Funds Retroactively in Order to Balance Budget…NJ Still Manages to Subsidize the Private Sector to the Tune of $1.57 Billion (Flowers for Socrates)

Christie funnels public pension money to Wall Street while pushing cuts on workers (daily Kos)

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21 Responses to Stateside New Jersey: The State Paid Fees to Mary Pat Christie’s Firm After State Investment Was Terminated

  1. po says:

    That should come back to haunt him, i hope, against Mitt Romney in the republican primary.

  2. Quid pro and status quo is how Chris Christie moves up the GOP ladder, don’t cha know!

    As NJ US Attorney, Christie gave his formee boss, USAG John Ashcroft and Corporate Fraud Task Force US Attorney Debra Yang ..a $50 Million NI BID contracr titled a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. .

    A deal so creative that the GOP rewarded Christue with Gov chair.

    Cause the heretofore terminology for the head fed prosecutor getting millions of dollars to forego a prosecution is of one nobody any longer seems to care

  3. eniobob says:

    Here’s what is being said here at home:Comments are very interesting by the home folks.

    “TRENTON — New Jersey has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to a Wall Street investment firm in the three years since Gov. Chris Christie said he was terminating all investments with the company, International Business Times reported today”


  4. Elaine M. says:


    Thanks for that link. The comments are interesting.

  5. I can’t say I blame the commentors at for being upset. The longer Christie is in office, the more his story reads like an arc of “The Sopranos”.

  6. Mike Spindell says:

    Chris Christie is the porcine re-incarnation of Rudy Giuliani with hair. Both were tough talking Federal prosecutors of suspicious repute, playing for the cameras. Both appeared to be Republican moderates in their election battles, but proved to be hardline Right-wingers in their governance. Both paid off their campaign contributors with generous dollops of government largesse and “sweetheart” contracts. Both took advantage of disasters to preen for the cameras and pretend they were saviors. And finally both are corrupt ego maniacs that saw their rather measly talents as White House material. Beware of macho politicians because all their “tough” talk is merely to keep one from looking too closely at their inner corruption.

  7. Mike,

    I realize you have the kosher tradition as part of your heritage, but that’s a terrible thing to say about pigs. :mrgreen:

  8. Christie < Corzine (doubt that) – Gene making funny yid kiddles (like that) — Mike on the realities of federal prosecutors (me thinks Mikey is too much of an idealist here).

    Federal prosecutors and/or judges, are picked because of their documented (empirical) history of playing the "good ole boys" game – WELL! — Serving the power, money, might makes right realm; and all other regular folks getting tossed deeper into hell.

    (I know, us yiddles aren't suppose to believe in hell; but I'm unorthodox – fer sure)

  9. Elaine M. says:


    Both Corzine and Christie are corrupt. Don’t know what the different degrees of corruptness are.

  10. Elaine M. says:

    N.J. pension funds sue Christie over $2.4B money grab

    TRENTON — Trustees of New Jersey’s largest pension funds filed a lawsuit today against Gov. Chris Christie for slashing $2.4 billion in pension fund payments he promised to pay as part of a 2011 pension reform deal.

    The lawsuit will ask the courts to force Christie to restore the cuts. The board overseeing the Public Employees Retirement System — the largest employee pension fund — voted in June to sue Christie.

    “We are saying that money is due to the fund,” Tom Bruno, chairman of that fund said today. “It’s not something we relish doing, but frankly it’s got to be done.”

    “We have a fiduciary responsibility, and that is to protect the fund, as well as to collect the monies that are due to the fund,” Bruno said.

    The dispute stems from a 2011 deal Christie brokered with Democratic leadership in the Legislature to put the troubled system back on solid footing.

    Christie agreed to increase payments into the system in return for a reform package that raised the retirement age from 62 to 65, eliminated cost-of-living increases for retirees, and required workers to contribute more toward their pensions and health benefits.

    But instead of pumping in extra money, Christie grabbed $2.4 billion from pension payments to balance budgets over two years after revenue collections fell far short of projections.

  11. blouise says:

    ” … .revenue collections fell far short of projections

    Make the PROJECTIONS large enough and one can grab any amount to fill what is nothing more than a make believe gap. It’s an old con-man, swindler trick from those working the grift.

    Damn straight the Unions have a fiduciary responsibility to fight the con in court.

    The New Jersey Attorney General also has a duty to prosecute the grifter, Gov. Chris Christie, and can do so on several levels.

  12. You can’t indict too big to jail people….its the GOP reign next 2 years;
    and we’re going to see much more of these “stretches” of protocols/policies.

  13. pete says:

    Used to be you could buy a bridge in Brooklyn, now it’s just a lane on a bridge in New Jersey.

  14. rafflaw says:

    The pension plans need to go after Christie and expose his illegal actions and his lies. As Blouise stated, the NJ Attorney General should be involved.

  15. eniobob says:

    They can’t walk the walk here:

    “TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate today failed to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a measure that would have made it harder for the state to cut pension payments at the last-minute to offset revenue shortfalls at the end of the fiscal year.”

  16. eniobob says:


    “It has been reported that the financial firm employing Gov. Christie’s wife has received $470,000 in fees from New Jersey’s State Pension Fund since she was hired in 2012, which tends to raise a red flag from the conflict-of-interest chorus.

    Only some perspective is needed here, starting with the fact that the original $150 million investment with Angelo, Gordon & Co. – a monolithic hedge fund, with tentacles that reach every corner of the investment world – was made in 2006 and closed in 2011.”

  17. If it closed. ..then WHY?

    What was the net result with Angelo?

  18. eniobob says:

    Wham,s Dam it:

    Some of the comments may answer that, this may help not sure though :

    “The reason the fees keep coming is that a vestige of the original investment (about $6.5 million) is illiquid, which means it cannot be sold because there are no interested buyers. And while it may be suspicious that Mary Pat Christie’s firm won’t disclose details of the deal in question, industry experts will tell you that Angelo Gordon either has no obligation to reveal it, or it has a contract that mandates as much”

    This comment is interesting:

    “nowthatsjustsilly -14 minutes ago

    @Tom Moran | Star-Ledger Editorial Board

    He has some of the best people working to assure that heists don’t look like heists.

    Sort’a reminds me of the adage; “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a DUCK.”

    But, he has a lot of the best taxidermists & artists to make the duck not look like a duck.”

  19. Its not a duck

    Its f. F…. f….

Comments are closed.