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Gov. Christie Calls FTPD’s Colligan A ‘Pension Pig’ In New Hampshire; Colligan Responds

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Township Police Detective and NJ State PBA president Pat Colligan, center, came under fire Nov. 30 from Gov. Chris Christie.


The war of words between NJ State PBA president – and township police detective – Pat Colligan and Gov. Chris Christie escalated Nov. 30, when the governor called Colligan a “pension pig” in statements made on the presidential primary campaign trail in New Hampshire.

Colligan has been a long-time critic of Christie’s, mainly because of what Colligan terms Christie’s broken promises in protecting the pensions of law enforcement officers.

That surfaced on Nov. 30 when a reporter asked Christie why Colligan has been so vocal in his opposition to Christie.

According to a transcript of the statement, published by the state PBA, Christie said, “It’s because he’s a pension pig, that’s why. That’s all it’s about and you know that. That’s exactly what it’s all about. He’s a pension pig. That’s what it’s always been about. It’s about feeding at the trough as much as he possibly can.”

Christie said that the rank-and-file law enforcement officers voted for him in “overwhelming numbers” in both of his gubernatorial races, and he expected them to do so when he runs for president.

“Listen, never be fooled by that union leaders necessarily represent the points of view of their members, and that’s particularly true in New Jersey, when those guys spend more time in Trenton and in the Statehouse than most legislators,” Christie said in the transcript. “The last time that guy strapped on a gun and tried to defend somebody was quite a long time ago. If he wants to be a politician, that’s fine, he’ll be treated like a politician.”

Colligan, a detective with the township police department, shot back in a statement of his own.

“The Chris Christie the people in New Hampshire saw today is the same one our members have been dealing with for the past six years,” Colligan said in the statement. “This is a man who has proven time and again he will say and do whatever it takes to claw his way to the next political position. Six years ago, in his first campaign for governor, he sent a letter to rank and file officers throughout New Jersey promising that he would never harm their pensions. That was a lie.”

“The sad fact is that Chris Christie has been representing himself as a qualified lawman to the people of New Hampshire when the reality is that he was simply one of the biggest money bundlers for George W. Bush before he was appointed to be U.S. Attorney,” Colligan said. “Now he thinks that putting together a press event, attacking me and lying again about his broken promises on our pensions will somehow convince police officers across the country that he has their best interests at heart. He does not.”

Colligan said that Christie’s policies have led to “hundreds” of officers being laid off, “driven thousands” to retire “and left thousands of officers in danger in understaffed and underfunded departments throughout New Jersey.”

“Unlike the governor, I was on duty today in New Jersey and, like most days, I was wearing a badge and a gun,” Colligan said. “Also unlike the governor, I will work a full career, never miss a pension payment, and never fail in my oath to preserve and protect the Constitution and the public. Through his name-calling and lies, Chris Christie showed once again today that he can’t make that same statement.”

Earlier this month, Colligan criticized Christie in a letter to the National Association of Police Organizations executive director Bill Johnson during its monitoring of the presidential primaries.

“Governor Christie is not the candidate who ‘has our back’,” Colligan wrote. “To be blunt: If Chris Christie has my back, please ask him to pull the hatchet out from it before asking me for my vote for president.”

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