Real Housewives of New Jersey star Albert Manzo is used to taking occasional heat on the homefront, but now he's under fire from the Governor of New Jersey.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is asking Caroline Manzo's hubby to step down from his position as Commissioner at the North Jersey District Water Supply, but Albert says he's standing his ground. Just like in real estate, it's all about location, location, location -- according to Zap2It, the Governor claims Albert "abused the public's trust" by listing his official residence as an apartment at the Brownstone in Paterson instead of his family's house in Franklin Lakes, which is not located in one of the 12 municipalities that the commission serves. It's required that commissioners reside in the water supply district.
"I had no intention of trying to pull the wool over anybody's eyes," Albert tells Zap2it. He says he listed the apartment as his primary residence in 1999 since he spent the bulk of his time there running the family business. Albert says he's treated the apartment as his chief residence since then, even registering to vote there instead of in Bergen County -- where his Franklin Lakes home is located -- and claims, "I felt very uncomfortable with the notion of not being domiciled at this [Brownstone] address. I'm very involved with the politics here. This is where I was born, around the corner from here, a block away, and I always felt this was my home."
Albert notes that he has filed a dual residency statement, and that investigators from the county elections office looked into his residency after he was appointed to the position by then Governor Jon Corzine in 2009. The Househubby has no plans to resign pronto, per the Governor's request, but does plan to give up his position soon. "I would be happy to resign on May 1, 2011 when my term as Commissioner expires. It allows me to stand up and say I served, my term is up, I appreciate the opportunity," Manzo tells Zap2It. "It's clear to me that the Governor has no intention of reappointing me, and I have no intention of standing in the way of the Governor. I just felt it was wrong for me to resign under threat when I know in every fiber of my being that I did nothing wrong. And for me to just run away would have left a cloud of suspicion."
Albert's $7,500 salary for serving as Commissioner will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that Caroline works closely with and aids soldiers injured during service. Heis reportedly scheduled to meet with the State Office of Employee Relations in Trenton, NJ about the matter this week.