NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Already embroiled in a criminal probe over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is facing an investigation over a second bridge.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether $1.8 billion in funding to repair the Pulaski Skyway and related projects was misrepresented in bond documents by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a person familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity.
And a government official with direct knowledge said the Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating.
Besides federal laws and regulations, New York state has its own securities law, called the Martin Act. It allows for criminal charges for making false statements when selling bonds and some other financial instruments; the charges can be felonies. The law also allows authorities to bring civil suits.
In an emailed statement, the Port Authority said the agreement for the bridge project “was analyzed and negotiated by lawyers on all sides” and the bond disclosures were reviewed by a law firm that has served as underwriters’ counsel for the Port Authority for 25 years.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. declined to comment Tuesday. Spokespeople for Christie and the SEC also declined to comment. The New York Times first reported the investigation.
The decaying, 82-year-old Skyway connecting Newark and Jersey City carries more than 70,000 vehicles in and out of Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan daily. The inbound lanes of the bridge were closed in April for two years for the $1 billion project.
The 3.5-mile steel truss bridge is an iconic New Jersey symbol, featured in Orson Welles’ 1938 broadcast “War of the Worlds,” and in the opening credits of “The Sopranos.”
Questions had been raised after Christie began to push for the project after he pulled the plug on a $9 billion rail tunnel from New Jersey into Manhattan in 2010 — a project that was to have used $3 billion from the Port Authority.
The Skyway is owned and operated by New Jersey and offers a direct route to the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City. But the agreement signed in 2011 between the Port Authority and New Jersey’s Department of Transportation labeled it an approach to the Lincoln Tunnel, which is several miles away and requires what amounts to a 90-degree turn to the north.
According to published reports, the Port Authority isn’t authorized to pay for work on access roads to the Holland Tunnel because the tunnel predates the formation of the Port Authority in 1921. The agency can pay for roads that lead to the Lincoln Tunnel.
The Record of Woodland Park first reported on the Port Authority’s mention of the Lincoln Tunnel in the Pulaski documents.
Christie’s administration also is the target of state and federal investigations over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge last fall that appear to have been ordered for political payback. Several Port Authority officials have resigned and Christie fired a staffer who was revealed to have ordered the closures in an email.
Christie has denied any advance knowledge of the lane closure scheme. A taxpayer-funded report prepared by a law firm commissioned by Christie absolved the governor of any wrongdoing.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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