Officials at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey are worried the law firm retained by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R) as it faces two investigations into the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge has a conflict of interest. According to a report published by the Bergen Record Friday, Port Authority officials plan to outline these concerns in a letter to the firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
The potential conflict of interest centers around the fact the firm represents the Port Authority, which oversees the bridge, in a lawsuit brought by the American Automobile Association over toll hikes instituted by the agency in 2011. Last September’s lane closures, which some Democrats have alleged were ordered by Christie’s allies in an effort to retaliate against a local mayor, have been discussed in the AAA lawsuit. The closures led to days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J.
On Thursday, the Christie administration announced it hired Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP to conduct an internal review of the lane closures and to assist with the U.S. Attorney’s investigation into the matter. The team working for the Christie administration is headed by Randy Mastro, who leads Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s “crisis management” practice. Committees formed by the New Jersey General Assembly and state Senate are also investigating the closures.