Second lawmaker seeks review of `Big J' decision
By CAROL COMEGNO
A second North Jersey congressman will ask the General Accounting Office to review the Navy's choice to place the USS New Jersey in Camden, rather than Bayonne.
U.S. Rep. Robert Menendez, whose district includes Bayonne, said Tuesday he will seek a review of the Navy's decision by both the GAO and the Navy's inspector general and will send a letter later this week. He claims to have evidence the Navy violated its own regulations, and possibly federal law, when it passed over Bayonne.
On Monday, Rep. Marge Roukema of Bergen County was the first to ask for a GAO review. The agency has not yet decided whether to look into the Navy's decision.
No matter what the GAO decides, the agency has no power to overturn the decision awarding the ship to Camden.
``Any decision to change this would have to come from Congress,'' said Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., whose district includes Camden.
Andrews and Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., said Tuesday it is unlikely Congress would overturn the Navy's decision.
Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina, chairman of the New Jersey Battleship Commission and a chief proponent of the Bayonne site, denied Tuesday the commission asked Roukema to seek the GAO review. A Roukema spokesman initially said Monday she wrote to the GAO at the commission's request, but later said she had done it at the request of constituents.