Trenton, NJ Contact: Anthony Coley Brendan Gilfillan 609-777-2600 RELEASE: February 23, 2006
Corzine appoints new members to the state ethics commission
Names Distinguished Group to Serve as Ethical Watchdogs to the Executive Branch
TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine today named seven new members to the State Ethics Commission, four are public citizens and three are state officials. This marks the first time in state history a majority of the board will be public citizens.
The new public members are former state Senator Bill Schluter; former Attorney General John Farmer; Karol Corbin Walker; and Paula Ann Franzese, who will chair the commission. The state officials who will serve on the commission are Personnel Commissioner Rolando Torres; Acting Labor Commissioner David Socolow; and Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sharon Harrington.
"My administration has set a high bar for ethics in state government and I will hold members of my administration to the highest standard," Corzine said. "I’m pleased that this distinguished group will be the ethical watchdogs of this administration."
Senator Schluter represented the 23rd legislative district until January 2002. Previously he represented his district in the State Assembly. Schluter authored legislation to bring further transparency to lobbying, legislative activities, campaign finance and public contracts. Prior to his legislative service, Schluter was vice-president and a founding partner of the environmental management firm, New Jersey First, Inc. He earned an Artium Baccalaureatus from Princeton University. He resides in Pennington.
Farmer, who served as state Attorney General in the Whitman and DiFrancesco administrations, is currently a partner at the Newark offices of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, Nicholson and Graham. Previously, Farmer served as senior counsel on the 9/11 Commission, Chief Counsel to Governor Whitman and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Farmer earned a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University. He resides in Flemington.
Walker is a partner at St. John & Wayne L.L.C., where she specializes in civil litigation. In 1995, she became the first African-American woman to be named partner to a major New Jersey law firm. Additionally Walker was the first African-American president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She earned a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from New Jersey City University. She resides in Morristown.
Franzese is a professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law where she focuses on property and commercial law. She has also served as director of the school’s civil and criminal pro-bono program. Previously, she was an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School and a visiting professor at Barnard College of Columbia University. She resides in Cedar Grove.
The State Ethics Commission has authority to initiate, receive, hear and review complaints regarding violations by any current or former state officer or employee in the Executive Branch. The commission is part of the Department of Law and Public Safety but is independent of any supervision or control by the department.
Photos and audio and video clips from Governor Corzine's public events are available in the
Governor's Newsroom section on the State of New Jersey web page.