Gov. Chris Christie’s response to a Cub Scout’s question could lead a judge to order the governor’s office to release details about the cost of his security detail.
Christie, at an April town hall event in Hasbrouck Heights, gave details about his security after 7-year-old Charlie Tartaglia asked Christie how many bodyguards he had.
“You know why I asked that question is because when I grow up I want to be a bodyguard,” the boy said.
Christie described the duties of the 30 state troopers assigned to protect him.
“They’re with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Christie said. “Not all 30 of them. Usually I have three with me when I travel. So anywhere I go around the state, there’s a guy driving me and there’s two [others] who are driving in the car behind me.”
Christie’s office posted the exchange online, where it was viewed by a judge who has heard arguments from Christie’s office that releasing security details would compromise the governor’s safety.
New Jersey Watchdog has sued the governor’s office, arguing the public should be able to see what his security guards are charging for food, travel and lodging on several credit cards whose costs are paid by taxpayers. The state has been releasing a monthly total without a breakout.
In court on Thursday, Judge Mary Jacobson said she was “very troubled” and she may order the administration to release a log of all food, travel and lodging expenses charged by his guards.
Christie’s lawyer, Deputy Attorney General Daniel Vannella, told the judge the governor did not provide all the details how his security works.
However, he added, “I certainly wish the governor didn’t make those comments.”