Committee expands Christie administration bridge probe
(CNN) — A state legislative committee investigating the traffic scandal in New Jersey that has roiled Gov. Chris Christie’s administration plans to issue more than a dozen new subpoenas.
Officials did not reveal specifics on Monday about their expanding probe, but said the subpoenas are for people who have not yet been asked by the panel to turn over documents and other materials.
So far, investigators have subpoenaed 20 individuals and groups, including top aides to Christie.
The governor, himself, has not been served with a subpoena, but his office has.
State legislators and the U.S. attorney’s office are investigating suggestions top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams over several days last September by closing access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to politically punish that town’s mayor for not endorsing the governor for reelection.
Christie has denied knowing anything about the gridlock until after it occurred, and has said he knew nothing about any political mischief by members of his administration.
The scandal has called into question Christie’s blunt governing style, which has been a positive with voters through two gubernatorial elections, and has clouded his prospects as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.
There are also questions about how Christie’s administration handled the distribution of Superstorm Sandy relief money to the city of Hoboken.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer has alleged that members of the governor’s administration conditioned storm relief on her support for a redevelopment project backed by Christie.
Those officials, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, vigorously deny the allegations.
In a new development in that matter, Zimmer’s office has declined to provide documents and take part in a private interview with Christie’s office as his team of lawyers conducts its own investigation.
Randy Mastro, who represents Christie’s office, wrote to multiple members of Zimmer’s office on February 4, asking for their assistance.
But in a letter of their own two days later, Zimmer’s lawyers questioned the appropriateness of the governor’s office “investigating itself” when there is already a federal probe underway.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman is also looking into Zimmer’s allegations as well.