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$1M Lawyers Linked to Christie Find Guv Did No Wrong

Findings of the taxpayer-funded investigation are expected to be met with 'intense skepticism' in light of Gov. Christie's ties to the investigating firm.

An inquiry into Gov. Chris Christie's involvement in the 'Bridgegate' scandal has found that the governor was not connected to the punitive move to close a traffic lane and cause a massive traffic backup in Fort Lee last year.

There's a caveat that comes with the finding, however: Christie himself commissioned the investigation by a law firm with close ties to the embattled governor.

Investigators conducted 70 interviews and charged approximately $1 million in legal fees—at a cost of $650 an hour to be paid by state taxpayers—to determine that Christie had no involvement "in the plotting or directing of the lane closings," according to a report in The New York Times.

The law firm—Gibson Dunn & Crutcher—has close ties to the Christie administration "and the firm’s lawyers were unable to interview three principal players in the shutdowns, including Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff," according to The Times.

Gibson Dunn has worked for the Christie administration in the past, the Times reported, and the governor is close to Debra Wong Yang, a top partner there.

Yang was appointed a United States attorney by President George W. Bush in the early 2000s.

Two other investigations are currently underway, one by the state legislature and another by the U.S. Attorney's office.

The Gibson Dunn & Crutcher investigation relied on a wide assortment of documents including emails, archived communications and Port Authority records.

Their efforts were stymied, however, by the non-cooperation of several key players in the scandal.

Aside from Kelly, former aide and campaign manager Bill Stepien, Christie's Port Authority appointee David Wildstein and Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich all refused to speak with attorneys.

The inquiry also looked into whether the Christie administration threatened to withhold money from Hoboken in exchange for support of a development deal in that city, according to The Times.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer also refused to speak with Gibson Dunn attorneys, The Times reported.

The review is expected to be delivered to the governor soon, and Christie "has promised to make it public quickly without alterations," The Times reported.

BellairBerdan March 27, 2014 at 04:41 PM
ah ok suz, you can't even be trusted to end it when you say you want to end it. How typical of you. There is nothing wrong with a stay at home mom or dad, but if you want to try and put yourself on a pedestal (if you were ever a mom at all) in your views, you didn't earn anything. It was given to you. You got a "hand out compared to the free healthcare, free phones, free rent (just about), free groceries, free transit, blah blah blah.." But as you alluded, it's Ok for you to get it, just not for anyone else. Now, how exactly should someone interpret your statement " we supported ourselves since our twenties and saved and worked hard (do you know what that is?) " I think it's pretty clear how you meant it. Want to try and wriggle off the hook or do you just want to admit Christie's property tax relief isn't really relief?
BellairBerdan March 27, 2014 at 05:08 PM
suz, why don't you tell me your views on stay at home moms, specifically poor moms.
Ridgewood Mom March 27, 2014 at 05:10 PM
The indispensable importance of involved parenting is a perfect example of why an "everyone for themselves" financial contest doesn't work as a measure of self worth or societal value. There is nothing wrong with stay at home parenting. There is something wrong with an economic philosophy and system that does not recognize that many stay at home parents contribute more value to society than many big money bread winners.

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