Other firms related to the fund and to the union also contributed money to Mr. Lindsay's campaign; the total figure was $3,150, according to a 2001 news report. In an interview, Mr. Lindsay said his campaign "returned any money that was connected in any way, shape or form to the fund or the local." He thought $3,000 sounded like the correct figure.
Because Mr. Lindsay had received money from the finalists for the contract, he said he recused himself from picking a new third-party administrator. However, neither firm was picked; instead, incumbent Union Labor Life Insurance Co.'s contract was renewed for a year, he said.
At the root of the fracas was an effort to remove him as business manager of the union local, Mr. Lindsay said. He said a rival union faction wanted a third party to give an opinion as to whether the contributions were improper. However, Mr. Lindsay said he distrusted the other trustees' selection of a third party and instead sought an opinion from the Labor Department.
Mr. Lindsay said he had not seen the Labor Department's Feb. 23 letter.
Separately, the New Jersey State Investment Council, which oversees the state's $67.1 billion pension fund, made final changes to its pending pay-to-play regulations, according to Orin Kramer, council chairman.
The regulations prohibit the New Jersey Division of Investment, Trenton, from hiring any investment adviser that has made a political contribution to any incumbent or candidate for state office.
The restrictions also apply to the executive or management committee of an adviser's holding company and its political-action committee.
Prospective money managers seeking to do business with the investment division will have to disclose any "relevant" political contributions, and investment council members will have to disclose their own political contributions during their term.
Also, investment council members will be prohibited from receiving any form of gift, compensation, gratuity, service or payment in connection with the hiring or retention of any investment management firm. This restriction will extend for two years after the expiration of each council member's term, and it will also extend to the member's family.
Mr. Kramer said the regulation must still be approved by the state attorney general, after which the investment council will give its final approval. The policy is expected to become effective by the end of March.
Reporter Gregory Crawford contributed to this story.