Christie Pal Files Last-Minute Lawsuit To Avoid Testifying In Bridge Scandal

AP

David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive at the center of New Jersey bridge scandal, does not want to testify before state lawmakers on Thursday. And he’s going to court to avoid it.

Wildstein filed a lawsuit in state court on Wednesday in an attempt to quash the legislature’s subpoena of his testimony, according to The Bergen Record.

Wildstein was subpoenaed to appear on Thursday before Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) and the Assembly transportation committee to answer questions about the September closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge. The closures caused a multi-day traffic jam in the town of Fort Lee, N.J. Documents obtained by TPM and other outlets on Wednesday showed a close aide to Gov. Chris Christie (R) discussed the plan to close the lanes last year.

Wildstein’s lawsuit argues that the subpoena served to him is invalid for a number of reasons, according to the Record. The suit questions everything from Wisniewski’s signature on the subpoena to Wisniewski’s ability to issue a subpoena for investigative purposes.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Wisniewski reiterated the importance of Thursday’s scheduled hearing.

“Mr. Wildstein has repeatedly been painted as the fall guy in this controversy but based on the documents released today, clearly that isn’t so,” Wisniewski said. “This is all the more reason why his appearance at tomorrow’s transportation committee hearing is necessary. His testimony can help fill in many blanks.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com

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