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NJ Officials React To Federal Charges Being Dropped Against Sen. Robert Menendez

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) -- Federal prosecutors have done an about-face, deciding to drop all corruption charges against New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and a co-defendant. Word of the decision reached state officials gathered for an event down the shore.

Little more than a week ago, the feds announced they'd retry Menendez and Ophthalmologist Salomon Melgin. Their first trial ended with a hung jury last November. After a judge last week dismissed many of the charges, prosecutors decided to throw in the towel.

Justice Department Announces Sen. Menendez Won't Be Retried On Corruption Charges

Governor Phil Murphy, at an event in Atlantic City, considered it a "great day" that Menendez can now do his job unencumbered by federal charges.

"Everyone in this country has a right to the full extent of our justice system," Murphy told KYW Newsradio, "and we shouldn't spend one second speculating and this is another good example that would have been a waste of time."

That sentiment was echoed by State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester County).

"It would have been unfair for our senator to have to go through a second trial when they did their best," Sweeney said. "They gave him their best shot and they couldn't knock him down."

Menendez, in a statement, expressed gratitude that "the Department of Justice has taken the time to reevaluate its case and come to the appropriate conclusion."

The senator is up for re-election in the fall and has not yet announced his future intentions.

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