WOODBRIDGE, NJ—In a surprising move, lame-duck Republican Governor Chris Christie appointed the Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization (MCDO) to one of the most powerful boards in the region.

Kevin McCabe will join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's Board of Commissioners for the first time at their next public on February 15.

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HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—On Wednesday, January 17, residents can learn about the different kinds of taxes that New Jerseyans pay as part of an ongoing series of educational information sessions hosted by the Borough of Highland Park.

Jon Whiten, Vice President of New Jersey Policy Perspectives will be the featured speaker at the event, which begins at 7pm in the borough's Senior/Youth Center at 220 South Sixth Avenue.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unit on December 14 was ordered to pay $15 million to a woman implanted with its faulty transvaginal mesh product, nine years back.

Elizabeth Hrymoc, 71, had sued Somerville-based Ethicon, whose parent company is J&J, which has been located in Hub City since 1886.

The award approved by the jury included $4 million in compensatory damages for the plaintiff, $1 million for her husband, and $10 million in punitive damages.

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CARTERET, NJ—A local police officer, one who happens to the Mayor's brother, continues to be paid a $49,266 salary despite being suspended while he is under indictment for criminal charges related to his public job.

Officer Joseph Reiman, the 31-year-old brother of Mayor Daniel J. Reiman, was indicted September 28 on charges of aggravated assault and official misconduct.  He was later indicted again on a charge of tampering with public records.

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SAYREVILLE, NJ—Two politically-connected law firms raked in a grand total of $7,616,130 to represent the county's utilities authority in a civil fraud case that was quietly settled for an additional $5 million last summer.

Making matters worse, the agency's insurance carrier refused to pay the bills, meaning that the multi-million dollar expense may be passed on to county residents in the form of higher sewer bills.

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PERTH AMBOY, NJ—A man attempting to cross the US-Canada border with a handgun was taken into custody by the Canadian authorities and held under suspicion that he fatally shot his sister in Perth Amboy.

According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office (MCPO), police were asked by a "family friend" to check on the well-being of 32-year-old Perth Amboy resident Urooj Aftab shortly after midnight on October 30.

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