NJ Lawmaker Plans To Subpoena Close Christie Aide

AP

Updated: January 16, 2014, 1:08 PM

New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) said on Thursday that she plans to subpoena Gov. Chris Christie’s newly appointed chief of staff, among others, in the bridge scandal investigation.

Weinberg, who will chair a special Senate committee being created to investigate the scandal, said during an interview on MSNBC that subpoenas would be handed out to Christie’s newly appointed chief of staff, Regina Egea and two of the governors appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Christie appointed Egea to replace Kevin O’Dowd as his chief of staff, though her appointment is currently on hold due to the ongoing investigation.

Weinberg said she planned to ask for documents related to the closures of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September, which led to days of traffic gridlock in the town of Fort Lee, N.J. Some Democrats, including Weinberg, have alleged the closures were ordered as political revenge against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.

“When we see those documents, then we can make our next decisions,” she said.

The other subpoenas would be sent to Port Authority chairman David Samson and commissioner William “Pat” Schuber.

On Monday, TPM first reported that Weinberg sent a letter to Schuber days after the closures, demanding an explanation for them. She said she did not receive a response. Christie was copied on that letter. Weinberg told MSNBC, she would think Christie, who has said he was initially was unaware of the closures would have been informed about her letter.

“I assume if the governor’s office get a letter on Senate stationary, from the Senate majority leader, somebody might take notice of it,” she said. “Now maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I don’t know how they handle their correspondence.”

In addition to the Senate committee, the New Jersey General Assembly has established a committee to investigate the lane closures. On Wednesday, the chairman of that committee told TPM he expects to reveal who it will subpoena Thursday afternoon.

Correction: This post has been updated to correct one reference and the headline to show that Egea has been appointed chief of staff, but has not formally taken the role.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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