Ex-chair of bridge agency won't turn over docs

AP News
Posted: May 02, 2014 10:36 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Lawyers for the former chairman of the agency that oversees the George Washington Bridge said Friday their client will not be turning over any more documents to a New Jersey legislative panel investigating the lane closures that sparked a political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie.

Attorneys for former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman David Samson cited their client's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and right of privacy in a letter to the investigating committee.

The letter said Samson has done nothing wrong and violated no laws — "quite the opposite," according to his lawyers — but should not be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.

The lawyers also said it appears the legislative committee has already reached a conclusion rather than being committed to a "full and fair proceeding."

The Democratic co-chairs of the committee, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, said their inquiry will move forward.

"The best way to get to the root of this abuse of government power is full cooperation by everyone, so we are disappointed in Mr. Samson's decision," they said in a statement. "We will obviously continue forward with this bipartisan inquiry until the people of New Jersey get the answers they deserve."

Samson resigned amid the scandal that also led to the firing of a high-level Christie aide who sent another port authority official a message about it being "time for some traffic problems."

That aide, former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, and former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien have also refused to comply with the panel's subpoenas.