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By David Madden

WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey state senate president Steve Sweeney is taking his hometown of West Deptford, NJ to court.

At issue is a deal the town allegedly cut with two oil companies to get around an environmental law he sponsored.

Sweeney’s legislation requires oil companies that shut down facilities to hand over any tax appeal proceeds to the state for environmental cleanup.

sweeney steve thumb madden NJ Senate Pres. Sues West Deptford Over Alleged Tax Avoidance Deal

(NJ state senate president Steve Sweeney, in file photo. Credit: David Madden)

But Sweeney (right) says that’s not what happened in the case of the Eagle Point refinery.

“Sunoco, in an e-mail in June sent to West Deptford Township, Sunoco’s attorney basically said if you don’t give the money to the DEP and deposit it with Sunoco, we will give you a million dollars for two fire trucks,” Sweeney says.

And Sweeney calls that a bribe.  He has asked the state’s attorney general to look into it.

But he is also suing the town, as well as Sunoco and Coastal Oil, prior operators of the plant.

None of the defendants immediately replied to our requests for comment.

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