N.J. Gov. Fires Aide Involved in Bridge Scandal as U.S. Probe BeginsJanuary 13, 2014 – In The News
Alain Leibman was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article “N.J. Gov. Fires Aide Involved in Bridge Scandal as U.S. Probe Begins.” While the full text can be found in the January 13, 2014, issue of New Jersey Law Journal, a synopsis is noted below.
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie recently let go of a key advisor as a federal investigation loomed over his administration’s ordering of lane closures that greatly affected traffic on the George Washington Bridge last September, allegedly as an act of political retribution.
Email messages were made public and showed the shutdown was ordered by Christie’s deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and orchestrated by David Wildstein, an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey appointed by Christie.
These closures were allegedly in response to the refusal of Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, to support Christie’s reelection campaign.
The shutdown of two of the three access lanes to the bridge from Fort Lee put the town in gridlock for four days, affecting paramedics and making it difficult for children to get to school.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is likely to explore whether the closures interfered with interstate commerce, which could give rise to a criminal charge, says Leibman.