TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie chastised an Essex County executive for collecting a pension while continuing to draw a paycheck from the same six-figure job, but the governor stopped short of calling on his political ally to quit taking retirement benefits or return the money.

In his first meeting with reporters in more than a week on Monday, Christie was peppered with questions about Democratic powerbroker Joe DiVincenzo, who is collecting $68,856 in pension benefits on top of his $156,207 salary. A loophole in the public worker retirement system allowed DiVincenzo to retire without ever leaving his job as head of the county of 771,000 residents.

DiVincenzo is closely aligned with the GOP governor on many issues, including pension reform.

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