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A scandal in New Jersey?

Wall Street brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co. has suspended three senior municipal-bond executives after discovering "irregularities" in transactions conducted with a New Jersey bond consultant linked to a chief aide to New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio (D).

"Although our internal inquiry to date has uncovered no evidence of criminal conduct by any Merrill Lynch employees, the [federal] government's review of this matter is continuing," Merrill said in a statement. The apparent irregularities concern a 1992 transaction between Merrill Lynch and Armacon Securities, a Camden consulting firm controlled, in part, by Mr. Florio's chief of staff, Joseph Salema.

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