The New Jersey Senate and General Assembly both voted Monday to establish a joint committee dedicated to investigating “concerns about abuse of government power” that have gripped Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration.
The joint committee was scheduled to hold its first meeting following the votes. During the Assembly session, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D) noted the committee would not send out new subpoenas Monday and would just renew the subpoenas issued earlier this month. Those subpoenas were sent to individuals and organizations including multiple close aides to Gov. Christie (R), the governor’s office, and his re-election campaign.
Some Democrats have alleged September land closures on the George Washington Bridge, which led to days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J., were ordered to retaliate against a mayor who declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid last year. Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer has also accused Christie administration officials of threatening to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief funds from her city unless she approved a real estate project.
The Assembly resolution establishing the committee gave it the power to investigate the lane closures as well as “any other matter raising concerns about abuse of government power or an attempt to conceal an abuse of government power including, but not limited to, the reassignment of access lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D), one of the co-chairs of the joint committee, was specifically asked whether it would investigate Zimmer’s allegations.
“We can’t predict what other information will come before the committee,” Wisniewski said.