Feds, county clash on corruption case

Feb. 24, 2005 at 7:21 AM

FREEHOLD, N.J., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A New Jersey county prosecutor and the FBI are at odds over an ongoing county corruption investigation, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported Thursday.

The head-butting revolves around events leading up to an FBI sweep Tuesday, when nearly 100 agents fanned out across six Monmouth County towns and boroughs to arrest three mayors, four councilmen, a police commissioner, a deputy fire marshal and others. All but one of the men are accused of accepting kickbacks from a demolition company owner who spent nearly four years secretly working as an FBI informant.

However, sources told the newspaper Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye had earlier directed his staff to determine the scope and targets of the probe after FBI agents and federal prosecutors refused to discuss their case with him and urged him not to interfere.

In an interview, Kaye denied any attempt to interfere with the federal case. He said his office had launched its own, separate corruption investigation involving some of the same subjects, that he told U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie details of his probe, and that neither prosecutors nor the FBI told him to stop.

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