- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2004

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The lawyer for the Israeli man accusing Gov. James E. McGreevey of sexual harassment said the governor’s associates threatened to have Golan Cipel deported if he went public with his charges.

Rachel Yosevitz told the Philadelphia Inquirer that associates of the governor visited Mr. Cipel at his home, the newspaper reported this weekend.

“They made it clear that the governor would do as he pleased and that if he wanted to have him deported, he would have him deported,” Miss Yosevitz told the newspaper.

Mr. McGreevey’s lawyer, William Lawler, denied the new accusations.

“That is not true,” he said.

Mr. Cipel’s attorneys have maintained that he is not homosexual and that Mr. McGreevey harassed the former homeland-security aide.

Sources close to Mr. McGreevey have said the Israeli demanded millions of dollars to stay quiet.

In a newspaper opinion piece published yesterday, the embattled governor says his decision not to leave office immediately was “difficult” to make but one he will not change.

Mr. McGreevey used the New York Times column to defend his Nov. 15 resignation date, which has been criticized by members of both parties. Mr. McGreevey, who is twice married, announced Aug. 12 he is leaving his post because he had “an adult consensual affair with another man.”

“While I see the merits of both sides of the debate, I stand firm with my decision,” Mr. McGreevey wrote in the newspaper. “My obligation is to complete the important work already started and to achieve an effective transition of state government.”

Mr. McGreevey identified two reasons for remaining in office: to address several policy matters, including plans for a stem-cell research center, and to make use of personal privilege set forth in the state constitution.

“For instance, our work to establish a stem-cell institute between the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University is on the cusp of becoming a reality that will be a source of hope to those who are confronting incurable disease,” he wrote.

Because New Jersey does not have a lieutenant governor, state Senate President Richard J. Codey will become acting governor and will finish out Mr. McGreevey’s term, which expires in January 2006.

Mr. McGreevey said a special election on short notice and just a year before the regularly scheduled vote would not be in the state’s best interest.

“There is a great cost to staging an election hastily; even a statewide race could get lost in a national election year, and the momentum and the investment made in still developing initiatives would most likely be diminished,” Mr. McGreevey said.

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