In a development that caught many by surprise, on Monday afternoon the CEO of United Airlines ($UAL) and two senior executives at the airline were forced out of their jobs following an internal investigation into their dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the agency’s former chairman, David Samson.
For the last year Samson, an appointee of and political godfather to N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, has been under investigation by U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman, an inquiry that was itself a metastasis of the federal probe of the September 2013 ‘Bridgegate’ lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Earlier this year, prosecutors seemed to settle their attention on Samson’s role as a power broker among the Christie administration, the Port Authority, and United Airlines during the period when the airline was negotiating a 20-year, $150 million lease to continue using Newark Liberty International Airport as its hub.
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