Chris Christie is falling under scrutiny again. Last September New Jersey experienced massive unparalleled traffic jams due to lane closures for the Fort Lee on-ramp on the George Washington Bridge. The George Washington is the most heavily trafficked bridge in the world so this led to a huge traffic jam in the Fort Lee area. Reports later surfaced showing that this was an intentional coordinated effort between Christie’s office and the New Jersey Port Authority to punish the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee for not supporting Christie in his reelection bid.
Now an ensuing investigation by the Port Authority of New Jersey has implicated Christie’s administration in possible securities law violations. Christie, against the legal objections of the Port Authority, diverted funds from the Hudson River rail tunnel – which Christie cancelled in 2010 – to pay for repairs and upgrades on the Pulaski Skyway. This was titled the “Lincoln Tunnel Access Infrastructure Improvements” according to official documents.
The Office of the New Jersey Governor even reached out to the Port Authority asking if the project for this bridge could be diverted from the now-defunct tunnel funds. The answer came back as a resounding “no”, but Christie’s Administration went ahead with the allegedly illegal funding measures anyhow.
Investigators and prosecutors from both New York and New Jersey are looking into the matter and considering filing charges against the administration under a statute known as the ‘Martin Act’, which allows felony charges to be brought against someone for intentionally deceiving bond-holders – in this case the taxpayers – without having to prove intent.
Investigators from the SEC and the Port Authority, conducting separate investigations but working in conjunction with each other, state they have confirmed enough of the allegations through official email traffic and paperwork to move forward with this case.