New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has come under scrutiny for being a Cowboys fan and taking trips to games paid for by owner Jerry Jones.
There is now a report that Christie may have to deal with ethics investigation because Jones’ involvement with Legends Hospitality, which is partly owned by the Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund. In 2013, Legends was selected to operate the observation deck on the top floor of One World Trade Center by the Port Authority board, which is appointed by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
According to New Jersey state ethics rules, public officials are barred from receiving gifts from entities that “deal with, contact or regulate in the course of official business.”
Christie’s supporters say that his rivals are using his love and passion for his favorite football team against him for political gain.
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Jones remains firmly in Christie’s corner and says there was no illegality or bias with the Legends contract because it happened before he knew the governor and was not a part of the presentation.
“I’m not as sensitive about because there had been [no illegalities],” Jones said. “It was almost circumstantial that we have any sort of business together with our activity up there at the Freedom Tower in New York . I wasn’t a part of that presentation and didn’t know him when we actually were in a really tough competition with a lot of great companies. We really had to earn those concessions. I didn’t know him then. I did meet him later on. Candidly this is the first time the subject has come up relative to our relationship. That’s not disappointing because it’s not an issue.”
Christie has attended five Cowboys games this season and the Cowboys have won all five. Jones has called him the team’s “mojo” and wants him at Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game at the Green Bay Packers. He said it’s inspirational to have a future presidential contender spend time with the Cowboys.
“He is a friend through the Cowboys,” Jones said. “I’m really getting a kick out of and enjoy him making the effort to make these ball games. The facts are we are continuing to win. I think it’s really interesting because he is unquestionably a presidential contender.
“And I know we have had some other guys that have already accomplished that type of leadership role when we talk about Bush and Clinton and when we talk about Mandela. Those are guys that have been a part of our game who are inspirational to me. And I know that to the extent of any players around them that is inspirational.”
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760