TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday announced the hiring of a legal team to help his administration deal with multiple investigations into an apparent political payback scheme, and he headed to the Jersey Shore, his first trip since the scandal broke, to pledge he won’t be distracted from the job of rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.
The governor’s legal team, to be led by former federal prosecutor Randy Mastro, will “review best practices for office operations and information flow, and assist with document retention and production,” the administration said in a brief written statement. A spokeswoman would not say who is paying for the firm.
Two New Jersey legislative committees, including one also using a former federal prosecutor; the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey; and the chairman of a U.S. Senate committee are conducting inquiries into what happened in September when lanes to the George Washington Bridge from the town of Fort Lee were shut down for four days, causing massive gridlock.
The plot apparently was hatched by Christie’s aides as a political vendetta, possibly because Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor wouldn’t endorse the Republican governor’s re-election.