New Jersey takes over debt-ridden Atlantic City government

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration has seized power in Atlantic City, taking control of the assets and major decision making power of the struggling seaside gambling resort with half a billion dollars in debt.

The state Local Finance Board voted Wednesday to take over the city’s main governmental functions after the state rejected a proposed five-year financial turnaround plan.

The state can now sell assets including the former Bader Field airport property and the city’s much-coveted water utility.

It also can reverse decisions of the City Council, break union contracts, and hire or fire workers.

The city’s decline is due in large part to the decline of its casino industry, which has seen five of its 12 casinos close since 2014.