The Stupid, uh, ..Garden State-MCgreevey is still a lock unless they catch him with a live boy or a dead woman-both possibilities if his chief fundraiser, Mr. Kushner, is around.



Kushner Accused of Using Call Girls to Obstruct Probe (Update1)

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Charles Kushner, a New Jersey real estate developer and Democratic fund-raiser, was charged with hiring a call girl and two intermediaries to obstruct a federal investigation of him and his companies, prosecutors said.

Kushner, 50, hired the intermediaries and a New York City call girl for $25,000 to videotape her having sex with a cooperating witness in the probe, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie in Newark, New Jersey.

Kushner, the chairman of Kushner Companies and the top donor to the 2001 campaign of New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey, ordered the videotape and still photographs sent to the witness's wife, who is also helping prosecutors, the release said.

``Kushner conspired with the intermediaries in the hiring of another call girl for the purpose of seducing and videotaping a second cooperating witness in the government's investigation,'' the release said. ``The second intended victim, however, refused the call girl's advances.''

Kushner, a resident of Livingston, New Jersey, surrendered this morning to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was charged with conspiracy, obstructing a federal investigation and interstate promotion of prostitution, the release said. His attorney, Al DeCotiis, didn't return a call seeking comment.

Christie scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. in Newark. Kushner will make an initial appearance in court at 3:30 p.m.


After McGreevey's election, Kushner was appointed to the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and was nominated to become the chairman. That nomination stalled after prosecutors began probing a former employee's claims in a civil suit that Kushner used his businesses to make improper political donations. Kushner resigned from the board in February 2003.

Kathy Ellis, McGreevey's communications director, said the governor's office won't comment until it sees the specific allegations listed in the complaint.

Last month, Kushner agreed to pay $508,900 to the Federal Election Commission to settle charges that he made improper donations to campaigns, including the 2000 presidential bid of Bill Bradley, a former New Jersey senator.

Kushner used 40 partnerships he controlled to make more than $500,000 in donations to candidates and political groups from 1997 through 2000, according to the commission.

Kushner recently joined U.S. Senator Jon S. Corzine, a New Jersey Democrat, in an unsuccessful bid to buy the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association.



To contact the reporter on this story: David Voreacos in U.S.
District Court in Newark, New Jersey [email]dvoreacos@bloomberg.net[/email], or Andrew Pratt in Trenton at [email]apratt@bloomberg.net[/email].

To contact the editor responsible of this story: Patrick Oster at [email]dvoreacos@bloomberg.net[/email].
Last Updated: July 13, 2004 13:28 EDT