Murphy puts assets into blind trust, fulfilling pledge
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an agreement putting his financial assets into a blind trust that his brother-in-law will oversee, honoring a campaign pledge roughly four months after taking office.
The State Ethics Commission approved the agreement in April, roughly a month before the Democratic governor and his trustee, Stephen Snyder, signed it. Snyder is the brother of first lady Tammy Murphy.
The agreement, which the commission shared Wednesday with The Associated Press, makes good on Murphy’s campaign promise to wall off his financial assets to avoid conflicts of interest.
“Governor Murphy’s financial disclosure and blind trust filings are consistent with his longstanding commitment to transparency, ethics, and integrity in the Office of the Governor,” his spokesman Dan Bryan said in an email.
Murphy is a wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive who used millions of his own cash to finance his gubernatorial campaign. He succeeded Republican Gov. Chris Christie in January.
Financial disclosure forms for Murphy and other officials also became available Wednesday. Murphy reported cash on hand of between $250,000 and $500,000.
The documents do not make clear exactly what his net worth is. In part that’s because the forms require disclosing assets in incremental amounts, with a top category of more than $500,000.
In addition to cash, the governor reported stocks and bonds worth over $500,000. He also reported real estate in New Jersey worth more than that amount as well as properties outside the state in the same value category. He’s previously reported owning property in Germany, where he served as ambassador under Barack Obama, as well as in Italy.
Murphy let reporters have a peek at his income tax returns during the campaign last year.
They show he earned $4.6 million in income in 2016, most of it coming from interest and dividends. He paid $1.5 million in state and local taxes and $203,502 in state property taxes for his home in Middletown.
He also paid $13,195 in taxes on the Italian property and $3,909 for real estate in Germany.