Feds: Ex-transportation official should not be spared prison

AP News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2017 8:46 AM

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a mentor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who used his position to shake down United Airlines "should not get a get-out-of-jail card."

In court papers, they recommended former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chairman David Samson serve 24 months in prison for pressuring the airline to restart a money-losing flight to South Carolina, near his second home. The flight was derisively dubbed "The Chairman's Flight."

His lawyers say the 77-year-old is in poor health and even though he misused his position, he was "not corrupted." They're seeking community service. Sentencing is scheduled for March 6.

United was in lease negotiations with Newark Liberty International Airport, which is operated by the Port Authority. The airline discontinued the flight after Samson resigned.

The airline was fined more than $2 million.