McGreevey Not Joining Law Firm, Rep Says

A spokeswoman for Gov. James E. McGreevey (search) on Tuesday denied a published report that he will join the law firm of a political mentor after he resigns as governor next month.

TheStar-Ledger (search) of Newark reported that McGreevey would become a partner in Weiner Lesniak, focusing on business development and client recruitment, and advising clients about dealing with government. The newspaper cited as its source four unnamed, top Democrats familiar with McGreevey's plans.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Democrat who has advised McGreevey throughout his political career, said Tuesday he and McGreevey have not discussed any offer to come to his firm and would not have any such discussions until McGreevey leaves office.

Lesniak said McGreevey's career accomplishments make him a top prospect for any company. "He would be an asset to any firm in the state and the nation," the senator said.

McGreevey has been a member of the New Jersey bar since 1981. His links to the law firm date to his time as mayor of Woodbridge, where Weiner Lesniak was the town's general legal counsel.

McGreevey's spokeswoman Kathy Ellis said Tuesday there has been no agreement, nor have any final decisions been made on the governor's next step.

McGreevey, 47, announced in August that he was a "gay American," acknowledged an extramarital affair with a man and said he intended to resign.

State Republicans had called on McGreevey to leave office before his stated Nov. 15 departure date, and filed a lawsuit saying that putting off his resignation until after the fall election denied voters the right to choose his replacement. A federal judge ruled against them; an appeal is pending.

"The governor's return to the private sector will be welcome relief for the taxpayers," Republican spokesman Brian Callanan said Tuesday.

Because the state has no office of lieutenant governor, Senate President Richard J. Codey (search), a fellow Democrat, will become acting governor until the term expires in January 2006.