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Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:10 PM

US Attorney in New Jersey Presses Inquiry on Christie Ally

Source: WNYC

The U.S. Attorney in New Jersey is looking into whether Gov. Chris Christie's top man at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Chairman David Samson, acted improperly when he authorized two contracts worth $2.8 billion for companies that his private law firm was representing. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman launched the investigation last week, according to sources who couldn't speak publicly because of the ongoing investigation.

Fishman, who is seeking the documents, is already investigating Bridgegate and whether the Christie administration threatened the Hoboken Mayor with a loss of Sandy aid if she didn't approve a development deal for a Samson client.

Samson is a top Christie confidante, and the U.S. Attorney's examination brings the investigation significantly closer to the Governor. Christie's press team hasn't commented on the new probe, and in his most recent public comments on Samson, Christie said he "strongly, firmly" backed Samson.

Samson's private attorney, Michael Chertoff, issued a statement saying he "isn't commenting on the investigations."

The new subpoena, first reported by the New York Times, is examining whether Samson had a conflict of interest when he pushed plans to raise the Bayonne Bridge and rebuild the Goethals bridge, while also representing the companies who got the massive contracts.

The projects were of great importance to Christie and the Laborers Union, which became the first union to endorse the governor at a a pivotal point in his re-election bid.


Read more: http://www.wnyc.org/story/us-attorney-new-jersey-presses-inquiry-christie-aly/



Heard this on the way home tonight. Here is the link to the audio: http://www.wnyc.org/audio/m3u/358462/

The NY US Attorney's office withdrew their subpoenas last week. It looks like NJ has done their job and stepped in to continue the investigation into Samson.

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Reply US Attorney in New Jersey Presses Inquiry on Christie Ally (Original post)
Beach Rat Mar 2014 OP
Lefta Dissenter Mar 2014 #1
yuiyoshida Mar 2014 #3
Beach Rat Mar 2014 #4
Tx4obama Mar 2014 #5
pnwmom Mar 2014 #2
olddad56 Mar 2014 #6
Laxman Mar 2014 #7
Beach Rat Mar 2014 #8

Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:17 PM

1. An inquiry?

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Response to Lefta Dissenter (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:22 PM

3. I was gonna say....

what she have to do with it?

CHEERS!

Maybe she had help!

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Response to Lefta Dissenter (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:29 PM

4. An "inquiry" by the US Attorney!

Probably not going to be a pleasant experience for Mr. Samson. I can't believe the arrogance of this guy. Maybe he'll write the Idiot's Guide to Rigging the System when this is all said and done.

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Response to Lefta Dissenter (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:35 PM

5. That's the same thing I thought when I read the OP's subject line!


Edited to add...
Her name is spelt: Kirstie Alley
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000263/?ref_=tt_cl_t7




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Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 08:20 PM

2. How could it be that this wasn't exposed at the time? It must have been well known

that the head of the port authority was pushing the projects that his law firm clients stood to benefit from. How could this not have been an issue then?

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Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 09:00 PM

6. Hey, I remember her from Cheers.

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Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 10:25 PM

7. Stealing A Line From Faux News....

Is this the start of the death spiral? Check out this editorial from the Star Ledger released this evening:

Christie's GW Bridge scandal moves closer: Editorial

The George Washington Bridge scandal just moved a big step closer to Gov. Chris Christie with the revelation that his campaign manager knew about the lane closures while they were underway.

Bill Stepien, who was fired by the governor for reasons that remain a mystery, was twice sent a copy of a protest letter from Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich on Sept. 12, during the week the access lanes were closed.

The two emails came from David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, Christie’s top appointees at the Port Authority, both of whom have since stepped down in disgrace.

Stepien’s response to the emails is telling. He does not ask why the lanes were closed in the first place, or why the mayor charged that it was done as an act of political revenge. He asks nothing about the urgent public safety issues the mayor described in his letter. He just says thanks.

The only plausible reason Stepien would not ask those obvious questions is that he already knew the answers. It seems clear that he had already discussed the lane closures before receiving these emails.


http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/03/christies_gw_bridge_scandal_moves_closer_editorial.html#incart_m-rpt-1

they finish it up with this kicker:

What’s certain is that Stepien knew about this in real time. The big question now is whether he discussed it with the governor, and if so, when. Stay tuned.


Stay tuned indeed! (and isn't it Kirstie Alley?)

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Response to Beach Rat (Original post)

Tue Mar 18, 2014, 10:52 PM

8. The NY Times went into this in a little more depth.

The subpoena from Mr. Fishman’s office sought records related to two bridge contracts the Port Authority awarded last April, one for $1.5 billion to replace and maintain the Goethals Bridge, and the other in a $1.3 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge so that the largest container ships could pass beneath it, one of the people said.

A lawyer for Mr. Samson, Michael Chertoff, declined to answer specific questions, saying through a spokeswoman, “We are not commenting on any investigations.”

Mr. Samson’s law firm did not return a call seeking comment.

The subpoena seeks records relating to the bidding for the contracts, the selection process, any disclosures of potential conflicts or recusals involving Mr. Samson, and his communications with Port Authority staff on the issue, the person said.

It also seeks documents related to any contracts awarded to clients of Wolff & Samson, the person said. The subpoena indicates that the prosecutor handling the investigation is Lee M. Cortes, an assistant United States attorney in the Special Prosecution Division, which handles public corruption cases.

Mr. Cortes is one of three or four prosecutors who, along with F.B.I. agents and several criminal investigators from the United States attorney’s office, have been handling the lane closing inquiry and related investigations.

One of the Goethals Bridge contracts awarded by the Port Authority went to Macquarie Infrastructure Company, which owns a 50 percent interest in a business that has long been a client of Wolff & Samson. The client, IMTT, owns a liquid storage facility on the Bayonne waterfront.

Mr. Samson and his fellow commissioners also voted to award roughly half of the $1.3 billion Bayonne Bridge project to a joint venture that included Skanska, according to a news release the company issued announcing the contract at the time. Skanska was also a Wolff & Samson client.

Mr. Samson and the two construction companies, which both are prominent contractors, have not been formally accused of any wrongdoing, and officials have not publicly suggested that the bid process was tainted.

Minutes of the April 2013 Port Authority board meeting show that Mr. Samson did not recuse himself from either vote.


you can read the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/19/nyregion/us-prosecutors-in-new-jersey-sought-port-authority-records-on-bridge-contracts.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0

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