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Senator Steven Oroho

Senator Steve Oroho

Oroho Calls for SCI Investigation of Alleged Impropriety by Sam Wang of Princeton Gerrymandering Project During Congressional Redistricting

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Says Wang May Have Deprived the Redistricting Commission & NJ Taxpayers of His Honest Services While Being Paid with Public Funds

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho sent a letter to the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation today urging the state watchdog to investigate claims of misconduct by Sam Wang of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project during his service as a taxpayer-funded advisor to the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission.

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho sent a letter to the State Commission of Investigation urging the state watchdog to investigate claims of misconduct by Sam Wang of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project during his service as a taxpayer-funded advisor to the N.J. Congressional Redistricting Commission. (SenateNJ.com)

“If the allegations are true, neither the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission nor state taxpayers received the benefit of the honest services for which Sam Wang was paid with public funds,” said Oroho (R-24). “If Wang cheated to support his personal interest of helping Democrats, his actions could impact the partisan composition of New Jersey’s delegation to the United States House of Representatives and even control of Congress itself. This is extremely alarming.”

Oroho urged Governor Murphy and Democrats to join in a bipartisan effort to ensure that the allegations of wrongdoing are investigated properly.

“New Jersey Democrats have an opportunity to demonstrate they are willing to stand up to efforts to subvert our nation’s democratic process, including when the alleged wrongdoing benefits them politically,” added Oroho. “Governor Murphy has the authority to order the SCI to conduct the investigation that I just requested. If he truly believes that partisanship should be put aside to protect our democratic institutions and processes, he should order an investigation immediately.”

The full text of the letter is below (click here for PDF):

April 29, 2022

State Commission of Investigation
50 West State St., 14th Floor
P.O. Box 045
Trenton, NJ 08625-0045

Attn: Tiffany Williams Brewer, Commissioner
Kevin R. Reina, Commissioner
Robert J. Burzichelli, Commissioner
John P. Lacey, Commissioner

Dear Commissioners,

As you may be aware, serious allegations of impropriety have been raised by whistleblowers at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, an organization within Princeton University, pertaining to misconduct by the organization’s leader while performing public duties funded with State taxpayer dollars. I believe this is a matter that should be investigated by the State Commission of Investigation.

As reported by David Wildstein in the New Jersey Globe on April 28, 2022, Princeton University has launched an internal investigation into a variety of whistleblower claims against Sam Wang, Director of the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, including that he manipulated data while serving as a taxpayer-funded and supposedly nonpartisan advisor to the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission.

Wang was reportedly paid a $15,375 consulting fee by the State of New Jersey for the benefit of his honest, unbiased, and impartial service as an advisor to the Honorable John E. Wallace Jr., Chair of the Redistricting Commission.

While being paid by taxpayers, however, it has been alleged that Wang manipulated data in a way that he thought was undetectable to achieve the outcome he wanted, which was a more favorable congressional map for Democrats.

“He’d fudge the numbers to get his way,” said an anonymous whistleblower quoted in the New Jersey Globe story. “He had an agenda. He was good at hiding it when he had to, but it was clear Sam wanted Democrats to win and he was willing to cheat to make that happen.”

If the allegations are true, neither the Commission nor taxpayers received the benefit of the honest services for which Wang was paid with public funds.

The alleged misconduct may have far-reaching consequences if Judge Wallace made critical decisions based on faulty or misleading data, including his ultimate decision to adopt the map proposed by Democrats instead of the map proposed by Republicans.

If Wang cheated to support his personal interest of helping Democrats, his actions could impact the partisan composition of New Jersey’s delegation to the United State House of Representatives and even control of Congress itself. This is extremely alarming.

As an independent fact-finding agency that is tasked with investigating waste, fraud, and abuse of government tax dollars, we urge the SCI to pursue an investigation of the concerning allegations referenced above.

We believe this request falls squarely within the scope of the SCI’s mission and thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Steven Oroho
Senate Republican Leader

cc: Chadd W. Lackey
Executive Director, State Commission of Investigation

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