Manhattan DA Opens New Christie-Linked Probe of Port Authority

Saturday, 12 Apr 2014 10:33 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is investigating whether the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey improperly financed the $1 billion renovation of a New Jersey bridge, a person familiar with the matter said.

The new probe, being conducted by the Rackets Division of Vance's office, is the third investigation looking at actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his appointees at the bi-state transportation agency, The New York Times reports.

Federal prosecutors and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Newark, and a New Jersey legislative committee already are looking at Christie and the Port Authority in connection with Bridge-gate, the traffic-snarling shutdown of lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September.

Vance’s prosecutors have conducted interviews about the agency’s funding of reconstruction of the 82-year-old Pulaski Skyway that connects Newark and Kearny to Jersey City, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and asked not to be identified. The bridge’s northbound lanes were scheduled to close Saturday for two years, which is expected to have widespread traffic effects in the region.

Christie directed the Port Authority to spend $1.8 billion on the Pulaski Skyway and other road improvements. He made the move in 2010 after killing a planned $8.7 billion commuter-train tunnel under the Hudson River that would have been funded with $3 billion of Port Authority money.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Vance subpoenaed Port Authority records, including correspondence among agency officials and the Christie administration on topics including rebuilding the World Trade Center site, projects in New Jersey and the PATH transportation hub in lower Manhattan, citing a person familiar with the matter it didn’t identify.

The Journal report noted that while the authority is controlled jointly by New Jersey and New York, the subpoena sought correspondence only from New Jersey-connected individuals, and not from the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Emily Tuttle, a spokeswoman for Vance, declined to comment on the probe. Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman, also declined to comment on it.

Bloomberg contributed to this report.

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