A general manager of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was a paid consultant to Lazard Freres & Co., a New York-based investment banking firm that landed the bookrunner post on a $224 million authority bond issue last year, a spokeswoman for the firm said on Friday.

The consultant, Richard W. Van Wagner, also had ties to officials at Tri-State Capital Markets Group, a Cranford, N.J., firm that the sports authority selected as a co-manager on three of its issues in 1992.

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