The legal team representing the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has in recent days asked officials in both Fort Lee, N.J. and Hoboken, N.J. to turn over records of their interactions with reporters covering the multiple Christie scandals.
Randy Mastro, the high-priced defense attorney retained by Christie’s office, on Monday filed an open records request with the borough of Fort Lee, the town affected in September by the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Mastro’s request, which was obtained by TPM, asks for all documents and correspondence held by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and his staff related to the lane closures (which the request calls a “toll/lane realignment”), endorsements of Christie, meetings with members of Christie’s re-election campaign, and the topic of access lanes to the bridge, generally. It also requests “all documents that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich or members of his staff provided to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or other local or national print, internet, or television media since September 1, 2013 through the Present, regarding any of the above subjects.” Fort Lee officials are currently reviewing the records request.
Mastro was hired to help Christie’s office produce documents for the multiple investigations into the lane closures. But he is also helping the governor’s office with its internal review of the incident.
Mastro has also gotten involved with the allegations made by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer last month — that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief aid if she did not support a development project in her city. The Bergen Record on Sunday reported that Mastro and his team had requested a private interview with Zimmer, as well as copies of the documents that Zimmer provided to federal investigators.
NJ.com on Monday reported that Mastro also recently filed an open records request with Hoboken, seeking, in the words of the website, “all correspondence between more than a dozen city officials and the New York Times relating to the governor, Hurricane Sandy assistance, the Rockefeller Group and development of the city’s North End.” The request also asks for a copy of “the entire, unredacted notebook, memo pad, or journal in the possession, custody of Hoboken Mayor Zimmer, portions of which were provided by Mayor Zimmer or her office to the press (i.e. MSNBC, CNN and the N.Y. Daily News) on or about January 18 and/or January 19. 2014.”
According to NJ.com, the city has denied the request for a copy of Zimmer’s journal, but it has asked the officials named in the request to turn over any correspondence given to the Times “in your official capacity” regarding the Zimmer allegations.
Mastro did not return a request for comment from TPM on Tuesday.