Wayne Bryant's timeline of trouble

Posted: March 29, 2007

Wayne Bryant's timeline of trouble

1990: Lobbyist accuses Bryant and four other Assembly members of shaking her down for a $20,000 campaign contribution. No charges filed.

1992: Legislature's Joint Ethics Committee reprimands Bryant, then an assemblyman, for using his influence with the Florio administration to win a $2.86 million no-bid lease with the state for a building he partly owned in Cherry Hill.

1996: Federal audit of Camden Housing Authority concludes Bryant's law firm collected $730,000 in unsubstantiated costs for legal work from 1992 to 1995.

2005: Legislature's Joint Ethics Committee demurs on complaint that Bryant used his position to win $270,000 in Camden redevelopment work for his law firm as part of the $175 million Camden Recovery Act he sponsored.

May 2006: The U.S. attorney subpoenas Delaware River and Bay Authority, seeking records related to Bryant's law firm.

September 2006: The U.S. attorney's monitor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey blasts Bryant's part-time job at the scandal-plagued school, saying the senator did "little to no work" in his $38,000-a-year position as "program support coordinator." What Bryant was really hired to do, the monitor says, was to use his influence as chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to secure millions in extra university funding.

September 2006: Bryant, who denies the monitor's allegations, resigns his leadership of the budget committee. The state Attorney General's Office subpoenas Camden Redevelopment Agency for records of $1 million in state aid Bryant helped secure.

October 2006: State investigators subpoena Gloucester County Board of Social Services for Bryant's work records. The subpoena came after The Inquirer revealed that while Bryant earns $59,000 a year plus public pension credits as an attorney for the agency, he often farms out work to law-firm subordinates.

October 2006: Federal investigators subpoena Camden Redevelopment Agency, seeking documents relating to work done by Bryant's law firm.

October 2006: Federal investigators serve subpoenas on Rutgers University and UMDNJ, demanding records relating to Bryant's employment.

October 2006: Federal investigators serve the state treasurer with a subpoena, demanding documents tied to Bryant's public pension and any contact between the senator and Treasury officials regarding UMDNJ. Investigators also demand documents from state Department of Children and Families about state funding for UMDNJ. Another subpoena directed to the Office of Legislative Services, the legal arm of the Legislature, demands records relating to funding for public agencies or institutions where Bryant or his law firm were employed.

February 2007: Bryant announces retirement from Zeller & Bryant, the law firm he helped found.

February 2007: U.S. Attorney subpoenas records from six Assembly and Senate leaders and Democratic and Republican legislative offices, seeking records about Christmas tree grants that lawmakers traditionally have stuffed into the state budget at the last minute for pet projects. This indicates the Bryant probe has widened into whether other lawmakers personally profited from grants.

February 2007: Four lawmakers reveal they have been questioned by the FBI regarding Bryant's role in securing funding for UMDNJ.

March 2007: U.S. attorney subpoenas Christmas tree records from Gov. Corzine's office.

March 2007: U.S. attorney subpoenas records from three North Jersey legislators who have ties to organizations that received $3.4 million in Christmas tree grants.

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