Bob Braun, veteran reporter turned independent blogger, charges that officials in New Jersey broke state laws requiring a random lottery to advance the charter movement in Newark.

He writes:

“New Jersey and local school officials have been involved in a conspiracy to evade laws governing the operation of charter schools in order to allow the wholesale “charterization” of public schools in Newark, the state’s largest city. State Education Commissioner David Hespe allowed the city’s charter schools to ignore legally-mandated lotteries while, at the same time, he secretly amended the charters of those privatized schools as an after-the-fact method of justifying the elimination of lotteries.”

Read it all, to this sad conclusion:

“By April, Cerf had left as commissioner, joining the private company “Amplify” so he could use the contacts he made as New Jersey commissioner to make a lot of money. Hespe, a once-trusted public servant who previously served as state education commissioner, took over in February. He apparently needed the job more than the good reputation he had developed in the past as commissioner under former Gov. Christie Whitman, so he did his new master’s bidding. He stretched the law until it broke.

“And he did it while, all the while, assuring union leaders and others he was desperate to get rid of Cami Anderson. That was a great if laughable ploy–fooling the most vocal critics of Cami Anderson so they would stay quiet while he and Anderson prepared both to impose “One Newark” on the city, quiet anger against the incompetent superintendent, and give Christie’s agent another three-year contract.

“Scamming the city. Its parents. Its children.

“One Newark” is illegal. It’s illegal because it discriminates on the basis of race. It is illegal because it violates a raft of state laws and regulations.

“And it is illegal because it violates the charter school law.

“But, in a New Jersey operated by Gov. Christie’s Mafia, illegal is only what the governor says it is. And Hespe and Anderson do his bidding.”