N.J. Lawmaker Reimburses Insurer for Gifts from Lobbyist

August 31, 2006

The head of the New Jersey Democratic Party has repaid Prudential Insurance Co. more than $1,200 for golf tickets and other gifts he received from a former lobbyist who was later accused of stalking him.

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan filed an amended financial disclosure form on Aug. 15 documenting the gifts, which included tickets to last year’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club.

Lawmakers are not allowed to accept gifts worth more than $250 in a year from the same source, and must repay the value of gifts exceeding $250 within 90 days.

The gifts were given to Cryan, who represents Union County, by former Prudential lobbyist Karen Golding, who is in a court-ordered, pretrial program as a result of charges that she had stalked the lawmaker.

Golding was arrested in March after being accused of breaking into Cryan’s car at the State House. She was bailed out of jail after calling Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who sent $5,000 in cash to the county lockup.

Cryan reimbursed the insurer for two dinners with Golding, valued at $466.32, which occurred while the Union County Prosecutor’s Office was investigating the alleged stalking.

Prudential spokesman Bob DeFillippo said the company also planed to file an amended lobbyist disclosure form.

The reimbursement was first reported in The Star-Ledger of Newark for Wednesday’s newspapers.

Cryan issued a statement through his lawyer saying he normally waits for a lobbyist to forward notice of a gift to him so he knows its exact value.

“It is impossible to make that determination without notice,” the statement read.

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