NJ State Senator: Democrats Tried to Stifle Christie Probe

Image: NJ State Senator: Democrats Tried to Stifle Christie Probe New Jersey State Sen. Richard Codey

Monday, 13 Jan 2014 11:32 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Some Democrats tried to stifle an investigation into the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal to protect Republican Gov. Chris Christie, a veteran Democratic state senator said Monday.

State Sen. Richard Codey, who served as New Jersey governor from 2004 to 2006, told the Star-Ledger there'd been "an intense campaign" by some Democrats to stop efforts in the New Jersey Assembly to look into Bridge-gate.

"People know that there was an effort by certain Democratic circles to have this thing not see the light of day," Codey told the newspaper, declining to identify anyone by name.

Earlier Monday, Codey alleged that Christie had cut deals with Democratic power brokers "who are not members of the Legislature," according to a videotape of the interview.

The Star-Ledger reported that the reference was to two Codey rivals, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and businessman George Norcross.

"They deliver him votes — simple as that," Codey alleged in the MSNBC interview. "In my opinion, those power brokers are still trying to disrupt this investigation, without question. There's a movement afoot — it has been for a while — to stop this whole thing and stop it cold."

Assembly Democratic spokesman Tom Hester told the Star-Ledger he didn't know of any efforts to quash the investigation of the bridge lanes closure by Christie aides.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto also denied getting any pressure to dump the investigation.

"It was never asked or even somewhat insinuated," Prieto said. "Zero."

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg also firmly denied getting any pressure.

"Not one person suggested in any way, shape, or form that I stop doing this," she told the newspaper. "I don't know who Sen. Codey is talking about, but whoever he's talking about, it's not me. I am the majority leader of the state Senate, and I have the trust and confidence of the Senate president."

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