Senate President Nicholas “No Show Nick” Scutari is in hot water after failing to report details on $600,000 in expenses, including a Roman holiday for the Bar Association in 2013, that were missing from his financial disclosure filings.
The scandal was revealed in a bombshell report by The Record’s Ashley Balcerzak, who showed that Scutari’s campaign failed to properly disclose basic details of close to $600,000 in campaign spending — out of a total $1.8 million over the past 15 years.
One of the most troubling revelations in the report was the $4,982 check that Scutari’s campaign wrote to cover the costs of attending a 2013 NJ Bar Conference in Rome, Italy.
Despite being a panelist at the event and staying at the luxury Westin Excelsior Rome hotel, Scutari failed to disclose the specific expenses that he had while on the trip, resulting in the single check back to himself for nearly $5,000.
This lack of transparency is not an isolated incident for Scutari. According to the report, for nearly 1,000 entries, Scutari recorded expenses as “reimbursements” to himself or staff, failing to disclose the vendors or businesses the campaign had compensated.
This failure to properly disclose basic information about campaign spending raises serious questions about the integrity of Scutari’s financial disclosures and his commitment to transparency.
Scutari, who was the previously head of the powerful Judiciary Committee, has been known for his lack of transparency when it comes to campaign finance.
In 2019, he was fined $3,000 by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission for failing to disclose more than $22,000 in campaign contributions and expenses.
The latest revelations about Scutari’s failure to disclose expenses are likely to further erode public trust in New Jersey’s political system.
It is crucial that elected officials are held accountable for their actions, particularly when it comes to campaign finance. The people of New Jersey deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials, and it is up to them to demand it.
Scutari is also the Union County Democratic Party boss and a state senator who is facing no opposition in the June 6 Democratic primary election, but only Black Democrats —Senator Ronald L. Rice and Senator Nia Gill —opposed his election as president of the upper house of New Jersey’s Legislature.