The Star Ledger is reporting that Joe Oxley’s nomination to the New Jersey Superior Court is in jeopardy because the U.S. Justice Department will not release FBI files from the investigation into the former sheriff resulting from Solomon Dwek’s allegations.
Dwek accused Oxley of sharing information about foreclosures before such information became public, thereby giving the real estate swindler a leg up to acquire those properties. No wrong doing was discovered during the FBI investigation which included recording Oxley.
State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), a member of the judiciary committee that screens judicial nominations, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the Oxley files after The Star Ledger reported there existence last June. The FBI declined the request, citing Oxley’s privacy. Oxley did not respond to Lesniak’s request that he authorize the release of the files. The Justice Department declined Lesniak’s appeal if the initial rejection.
State Senator Nicolas Scutari, chairman the the senate judiciary committee, was non-commital about Oxley’s nomination:
“I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely over, but I would say that’s certainly a piece of information that we’d like and it does jeopardize it to some degree,” he said. “I don’t think Senator Lesniak is wrong in requesting that information.”
Oxley declined to comment and referred questions to Governor Christie’s office.
Oxley, an attorney in private practice, could have numerous legitimate reasons, including attorney-client privilege, for declining to authorize the release of his recorded conversations.