Nearly EXACTLY on the two-year anniversary of the ill-fated lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, another shoe dropped in the multiple investigations into the lane closures and the once-secretive operations of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
How is the closing of some lanes leading to a bridge in New Jersey related to the CEO of the world’s second-largest airline losing his job?
United Airlines announced that its chief executive officer had stepped down, a casualty of the airline and federal prosecutors’ inquiries into the relationship between the company’s executives and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs Newark Liberty global Airport.
The George Washington Bridge is the most heavily-traveled bridge in the US, carrying more than 100 million vehicles per year between New Jersey and New York City.
After costing the jobs of multiple state functionaries, the ever-expanding scandal – inevitably nicknamed Bridgegate – claimed its biggest scalp so far on Tuesday, with the resignation of the CEO of United Airlines. About that time United was pressing for concessions from the agency, including a new hangar at the Newark airport. Nobody has been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
And when the hearing ended, several senators called on the Port Authority to suspend the PATH expansion until the conclusion of ongoing investigations into former Port Authority Chairman David Samson’s dealings with the trio of United executives who abruptly resigned this week.
Despite being uneconomical, the airline restarted direct bi-weekly flights from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina, after David Samson became the Chairman of the Port Authority. “They would have to prove that Samson said, ‘You’re not going to get these deals unless you provide me with a special flight to South Carolina.’ I don’t think it would be that overt”.
“These project don’t reflect the charter of the Port Authority from 1921”. “I don’t think it will cause him any problems”. The three allegedly worked together to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie’s reelection campaign that year, though Christie has repeatedly said he had no knowledge of the plot. Bill Baroni, another Christie appointee at the PA, and former top gubernatorial aide Bridget Anne Kelly were indicted by the grand jury. But New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature has not endorsed the proposal.
State lawmakers are starting to look beyond the ethical issues plaguing the apparently dysfunctional Port Authority, focusing instead on how the beleaguered agency sets its priorities. He also said the Senate already has the authority to subpoena witnesses to appear before its committees, something that would apply to the Port Authority. In polling both nationally and in New Hampshire, the early-voting state where Christie is focusing most of his efforts, his support has slid into the low single digits. “But when there have been times when people haven’t met those standards I take action and I fire them”. Whether a federal probe ends with indictments of United officials or Samson, the Port Authority during Samson’s tenure was a secretive place. What’s going on right now of the realignment of gates at the Port Authority bus terminal it’s a band aid on a gaping wound.