Federal investigators on Tuesday searched the home and legislative office of Democratic state Sen. Joseph Coniglio as part of a corruption investigation, but the senator's attorney said the searches will unearth no wrongdoing.
The searches come amid continued concern about government corruption in New Jersey, where more than 100 government officials have been convicted on federal corruption charges in the past five years.
The federal inquiry into Coniglio is part of a broader investigation by federal officials into whether legislators have benefited from grant money inserted into the state budget without public review since 2002.
The U.S. Attorney's Office has in recent months subpoenaed records from legislators and legislative staff about Coniglio and Hackensack University Medical Center, where Coniglio was paid $5,500 per month as a plumbing and construction consultant from 2004 to 2006. During that span, the hospital received more than $1.6 million in state funding.
When Coniglio decided not to seek re-election in September, he said his decision will give him time to ''fight the false accusations that my consulting work at Hackensack University Medical Center had any connection'' to grants the hospital received.
''When all the drama subsides, it will be clear to everyone that Sen. Joe Coniglio did nothing improper when he worked for one of the best hospitals in the country and he never compromised his public office in the process,'' Krovatin said.