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Senator Called On to Recuse Himself from MF Global Hearings

4:00 PM, May 7, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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New Jersey Senate candidate Joe Kyrillos, a Republican, is calling on Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat, to recuse himself from congressional hearings on MF Global, the financial firm led by Jon Corzine that went under last year.

Bob Menendez

"I am concerned that Senator Menendez’s personal and professional relationship with former New Jersey Governor and MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine could be a conflict of interest during the Committee’s investigation," said Kyrillos in a statement.

In 2006, when Corzine himself was governor of New Jersey, the now embattled money man appointed Menendez to the U.S. Senate. Kyrillos worries that this relationship will interfere with Menendez's ability to do his job in the Senate.

Corzine is still an Obama campaign bundler, raising more than $500,000 last quarter for the president relection effort.

"Recent press accounts and Menendez's own actions during investigatory hearings are making it seem as if he is trying to protect the man who appointed him to the Senate," Kyrillos said in a separate statement. "As a Senate committee with direct oversight of the MF Global regulators, it is Menendez's duty to put his personal ties aside, and get to the bottom of this. That is why he needs to recuse himself from further proceedings immediately."

Kyrillos was joined by victims of MF Global's collapse in asking Menendez to recuse himself. 

John and Alieta Eck are doctors who "had $200,000 in a non-investment account that was completely wiped out as a result of the company’s collapse," according to the Kyrillos campaign. John Eck made the following statement: 

My wife and I were devastated when money that we though was safe was taken from us with no explanation. We were counting on this money for our retirement, and now we many never see it again. We stand firmly with Senator Kyrillos in asking Bob Menendez to step aside from the MF Global investigation proceedings. The fact that Menendez failed to even mention the CEO Jon Corzine by name demonstrates that he is putting his personal relationship with Corzine ahead of the investors of MF global and the people of New Jersey. This requires a fair and comprehensive investigation, not a political whitewash.

There's been no word yet whether Menendez will grant this request.

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