Last week, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) came under fire for alleged crony capitalism involving his Internet startup, Waywire, which tapped CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s 15-year-old son to be a compensated “millennial adviser” for Booker’s company.
Now, on Monday, the New York Post is reporting that Booker bagged “confidential” annual payouts from his past law firm from 2007 to 2011, during which time his law firm hauled in over $2 million in legal work for Newark agencies Booker controlled.
Booker, who is the frontrunner for New Jersey’s special election Senate race, says the money he received from Trenk DiPasquale Law Firm was legal and part of a negotiated settlement from an equity stake he held in the firm.
“This was a settlement buyout for my interest in the firm,” Booker told the Post. “It’s all been disclosed for the last seven years.”
But the New York Post challenged that statement and said in the past Booker has attacked his political opponents for refusing to release their tax returns–something he has yet to do.
Furthermore, Booker failed to list his former law firm as a source of income on his financial disclosure form for his Senate run. The reason, says Booker’s spokesperson Kevin Griffis, is because “it was not compensation for services rendered. It was a return of equity.”
It is presently unknown how much money Booker received from his former law firm as part of the agreement.
State Sen. Ron Rice, one of Booker’s former political opponents, says the Newark Mayor is funneling lucrative legal fees to his old firm.
“Booker did nothing but bring in business to that law firm. He’s bringing it indirectly to them now,” he said, according to the Post.