The Securities and Exchange Commission this week added another New Jersey authority to a long list of state entities that have been subpoenaed for information in connection with ongoing investigations.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority confirmed that the agency has been subpoenaed. but declined to elaborate.
"In connection with the SEC's ongoing inquiry into municipal bond transactions, the New Jersey sports authority has been asked today by the SEC to produce certain documentation." says a statement released by the authority late Monday. "The authority intends to cooperate fully with the SEC."
The SEC does not confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations. Officials familiar with the subpoenas that have been sent out to other agencies, municipalities, and officials across the state say they seek information on a broad range of topics.
One of the first subpoenas to go out targeted the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, asking about the agency's $2.9 billion refunding program in 1991 and 1992. The probe has reportedly been focusing on whether Wall Street investment bankers used ties to politically connected members of the Florio administration to secure pieces of the turnpike's underwriting business.
Such relationships have come under increasing scrutiny nationwide, as the federal investigations have forced municipal bond players to rethink business strategies long regarded as standard operating procedure.
As previously reported in The Bond Buyer, a general manager at the sports authority. Richard W. Van Wagner, was a paid consultant to Lazard, Freres & Co., which was a senior manager on a $224 million sports authority deal in February 1992. The sports authority says Van Wagner does not help decide which firms will be selected for bond underwritings.
The Lazard deal was one of four issues totaling $418 million sold by the sports authority in 1992. The other senior managers were Merrill Lynch & Co., Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., and PaineWebber Inc.