Published in the Courier News, Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Green resigns from lobbying firm to avoid conflict
By MICHAEL DEAK
PLAINFIELD -- Assemblyman Jerry Green announced Tuesday that he is resigning from the the Alman Group, a Westfield-based lobbying firm, to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
His resignation as the firm's vice president for local affairs will be effective Oct. 15, Green said.
Green's decision was announced two days after Gannett New Jersey reported on his relationship with the firm as part of an eight-day series on government ethics.
The eight-term Democratic assemblyman from Plainfield said he is taking the action to "eliminate any gray areas" because he wants to concentrate on major issues in the Legislature if he is re-elected next month.
"I've done everything above board," Green said.
Green also said he is in line to assume a leadership role next year in the Assembly as deputy speaker pro tempe.
Green said he did not want questions about his employment "to take away" from his work on issues such as health care and housing.
"I don't want there to be questions every time I take a stand," he said.
Green sits on the Assembly's Health Committee. He also chairs the committee that oversees housing rules.
Among the Alman's Groups clients are at least 18 hospitals. In 1999, Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield hired the firm to help win state approval to perform cardiac surgery.
But Green's support of Muhlenberg started before that and continued even after the hospital and Alman parted ways.
Green told Gannett New Jersey that questions about his involvement with Muhlenberg and the city of Plainfield, where he advises Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, are two reasons he previously has backed away from projects with Alman.
For the past two years, the 68-year-old assemblyman said he has concentrated full time on government, advising Robinson-Briggs without being reimbursed.
"We hope to move the city in the right direction," he said.
Many of his clients at the Alman Group were nonprofit organizations, Green said.
In the past, Green said he has taken other action to avoid conflicts, such as selling two liquor licenses he said he owned.
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- Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.