NJ governor's trip to Cowboys game may have been ethical violation

0:33 | NFL
Chris Christie celebrates Cowboys win with Jerry Jones
Monday January 5th, 2015

New Jersey governor Chris Christie may have violated his state's code of ethics for politicians in accepting gifts from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, according to the International Business Times

Christie attended Sunday's Cowboys-Lions game at AT&T Stadium as a guest of Jones. The Cowboys owner paid for Christie's ticket and travel expenses, a spokesman told NJ.com.

New Jersey's ethics rules prohibit government officials from accepting any gifts related to their "official duties." Christie and the state of New Jersey have previously done business with the NFL, giving the league an $8 million tax break in conjunction with last year's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium.

In October, Christie signed a bill into law which would allow sports betting in New Jersey, a law the NFL has challenged in court.

The governor's office pointed NJ.com to a separate code of ethics for governors, enacted through an executive order by former governor Jim McGreevy, which says, governors "may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds." Under that interpretation, the gift would not be an ethical violation if Jones invited Christie as a friend, rather than as governor. 

Christie, who says he roots for the Cowboys because he was a fan of Roger Staubach, has been to three Cowboys games this season. He went to two games in December: one in Philadelphia and one in Dallas, while the Christie family was already traveling to Texas. 

- Dan Gartland

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