Phil Murphy is again going to have some explaining to do regarding his handling of the NJ Nursing Homes. Only this time it involves one of his old business partners at Goldman Sachs, who just happens to also be the the head of the Government and Regulatory division at Manatt Phelps and Phillips, the corporation that owns Manatt Health. Manatt Health is the company that nj.com reported that two of Phil Murphy’s aides tried to pressure Judy Persichilli into signing a contract that she refused to sign due to what she said was “$195,000 more than the next highest bidder for four weeks of work. I’m not doing it.”.
“I am not signing a contract that I think is excessive. I am not signing it as the commissioner and I am not signing it as a taxpayer in New Jersey,” said Persichilli to Murphy’s aides.
Persichilli ultimately agreed to sign it only after she claimed that she renegotiated the contract to the price of the next highest bidder, which was $195,000 less than proposed $500,000 contract that Murphy was having his aides pressure her to sign with Manatt Health. Kathleen Brown, who is the younger sister of the twice Gov of California, Jerry Brown, and the daughter of Pat Brown, who was also the Governor of California, is a Partner as Manatt Phelps and Phillips. In 2001 Kathleen was awarded the position as the head of the Public Sector and Infrastructure Investment Division for Goldman Sachs, which was the same year Phil Murphy became global co-head of the firm’s Investment Management Division.
Murphy started at Goldman Sachs in 1982 as an intern and had a 23 year career where he amassed a large fortune. In 2003 he was named the Senior Director of Goldman Sachs, which was the last position he would hold at the company until he retired in 2006. Murphy has homes in Berlin and Italy, with his main residence being in NJ, where he pays $200,000 in just property taxes alone.
The Division that Brown heads at Manatt Phelps and Phillips houses several other groups under her tutelage, including Manatt Health, the same company that Murphy’s aides were pressuring Persichilli to sign for an extra $195,000 of tax payers dollars. Murphy’s former relationship with the head of the group, who was finally awarded the tax payer funded contract, creates a major conflict of interest with the process, especially considering the strong arming that was attempted to milk tax payers out of an extra $195,000 when NJ residents can’t even go back to work, school or celebrate our religions in our houses of worship.
NJ Law states that “Public officials must, therefore, avoid conduct which is in violation of their public trust or which creates a justifiable impression among the public that such trust is being violated.”, which is how many NJ residents already feel without the special favors for Murphy’s former Wall Street business partners.