FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOLMDEL, NEW JERSEY (May 26, 2021)–Former Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health’s Division of Public Health, Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness, Christopher Neuwirth, filed a motion today in his pending whistle-blower lawsuit to add claims of defamation against the State, Governor Murphy and Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips.
The pending whistle-blower lawsuit, which was first filed on June 16, 2020, alleges that Mr. Neuwirth was unlawfully terminated in retaliation for lodging a complaint to the State Ethics Commission concerning the conduct of two high ranking members of Governor Murphy’s administration, Acting Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan and Governor Murphy’s Chief of Staff, George Helmy. According to the First Amended Complaint, Callahan pressured Mr. Neuwirth to collect specimens of relatives of Mr. Helmy at their private residence for COVID-19 testing. When Mr. Neuwirth lodged an ethics complaint for this instruction, the Ethics Liaison Officer refused to process the complaint and implicitly threatened Mr. Neuwirth with possible criminal ramifications if he proceeded. DOH leadership then began to ostracize Mr. Neuwirth by excluding him from important COVID-19 response meetings, essentially stripping him of all decision-making duties and responsibilities, culminating in his termination on May 28, 2020.