New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie is now a bicycle store owner after he bought the company that he started in 2002 to sell bike grips.
The new owner, Chris Stearns, told The Associated Press that he hired Christie to help sell the grips, which are designed to keep bicyclists upright.
Stearnes said he is using the company’s money to help fund his gubernatorial bid and to help people buy new bikes.
Christie also has been a supporter of bicycle safety laws, and has championed efforts to reduce traffic deaths.
But his business dealings have come under scrutiny after reports that he and other officials used campaign money to buy bicycles and other equipment for his family and friends.
He resigned from office in 2013 after being indicted on six corruption charges.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced Friday that it was suspending the governor’s business licenses pending an investigation into the purchases.
Christie’s new company, The Stearn Bicycle Group, is based in West Orange, New Jersey, but the company also operates in other parts of New Jersey and Virginia.
Stears has no connection to Christie.
He has been with the company for about a year, said his wife, Stephanie.
Stephanie Stearson said the couple had purchased about 1,000 bikes, and are now selling about 1.5 million.
Steesons said he has received numerous requests for help in buying the grips.
He also said he’s looking to raise funds for his gubernatorial campaign and to start another company that would make bicycle parts for other companies.
The Stears said they had no idea Christie was buying the bike company.
The state legislature, which has a large number of bike dealers, has already approved an emergency sales tax to fund a $2.6 million bike-control program.
The bill has been pushed through with the backing of several Democratic lawmakers.
Christie said Friday that he had no role in the purchases and would not comment further on them.