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New Jersey launches audit related to Charlie Baker donation

The state of New Jersey has launched an audit of a $15 million pension contract given to General Catalyst amid allegations that the Cambridge firm and one of its partners, Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, violated pay-to-play rules.

The New Jersey treasurer’s chief auditor is conducting the review, which is expected to take a few weeks. General Catalyst won the pension contract in December 2011. At the time, the firm reported that none of its employees had made political contributions to a New Jersey political party or committee.

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It has since come out that Baker, a Republican, made a $10,000 donation to the New Jersey Republican State Committee in April 2011. Such a donation could violate the state’s pay-to-play rules. Baker made the donation to thank New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for campaigning on his behalf during his unsuccessful 2010 campaign against Governor Deval Patrick.

Baker and General Catalyst have said they did nothing wrong, arguing that Baker is not technically an employee of the firm and is not an investment management professional as defined by New Jersey rules.

Shirley Leung is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at shirley.leung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @leung.
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