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Christie Becomes a Man of Few Words When Asked About Port Authority Pal

Declines comment on mounting ethics questions involving David Samson and his law firm's ties

samson
David Samson

He's not exactly a man of few words, New Jersey's version of Calvin Coolidge.

But the normally brash and loquacious Gov. Chris Christie, in Washington over the weekend for a meeting of the National Governors Association, uncharacteristically steered clear of the national TV interview shows and avoided reporters -- included a reporter who tried to ask Christie if his hand-picked Port Authority chairman, David Samson, should resign over a series of possible ethical conflicts.

Samson, already tangled up in the Bridgegate scandal, was reported by the Star-Ledger to have voted to award Port Authority contracts to a company whose owner was represented by Samson's law firm. And the Record reported that questions have been raised about a sweetheart deal awarded by the Port Authority to NJ Transit -- another Samson legal client.

And, as WNYC has reported, Samson’s law firm has seen its lobbying business increased from $40,000 before Christie became governor to over $1 million annually during Christie’s tenure. Among its clients were GTECH, an online gambling and lottery operator; a firm whose effort to run a gas pipeline through the Pinelands recently was stymied, despite a push from the Christie administration; the International-Matex Tank Terminal in Bayonne, a port facility; and a number of real estate developers, including the Rockefeller Group.

Read and hear the full report by Andrea Bernstein of WNYC, a partner of NJ Spotlight.

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