SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ – As the offshore wind energy debate rages at the Jersey Shore, social media users are claiming a UK company named JECS Offshore has ties to a Phil Murphy related UK company named JECS Limited.
We have confirmed that JECS Limited is indeed tied to the New Jersey Governor. In fact, it is the family holding company that owns the governor’s $7 million Italian villa and surrounding properties.
It has also been confirmed that JECS Offshore is another UK based firm that has ties to the company involved in New Jersey’s offshore wind energy project, Orsted. But, are the two companies connected.
Looking deeper into the matter, we found JECS is an offshore business owned by Bret and Letisha Whiting. They named the company using the initials of their four children.
JECS Limited, Murphy’s company, ironically, also appears to be an anagram of the New Jersey first couple’s children.
Rumors continue to swirl on social media claiming those two companies are related. What we have found from public records searches in the UK and filings by the governor in New Jersey do not link the two companies together.
Phil Murphy identified JECS Limited in his public office financial disclosure. The governor has not declared any interest in JECS Offshore.
Last week, Murphy’s administration finally responded to the debate publicly, denying any connection between the two companies or to Murphy and JECS Offshore.
Murphy communications director Alexandra Altman says the names are just a coincidence.
“There is no connection between JECS Ltd. and JECS Offshore Services, and any claim otherwise is absolutely false. Conflating two companies with similar names is another amateur scare tactic being used by groups whose sole focus is to stall the progress of New Jersey’s clean energy future,” the Murphy administration told FM radio station NJ 101.5.
While there is no evidence to support the two companies from being connected, that hasn’t stopped the rumors and speculations on social media where many online feel that Murphy, a former capitalist Wall Street executive at Goldman Sachs, does indeed have some kind of personal financial interest in offshore wind energy in New Jersey.
To date, there is no smoking gun on the matter.