United Airline CEO Steps Down as Port Authority Probe Continues

WNYC | September 9, 2015 | Politics
Did airline set up special flight for former PA chair David Samson, longtime Christie confidante, in return for sharply reduced fees at airport?

Credit: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie, NJ Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney, United CEO Jeff Smisek, former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, former Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni
United Airlines announced yesterday that its CEO Jeff Smismek had resigned. The news comes even as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey pushes on with its probe of whether the airline established a special, nonstop route between Newark Liberty airport and Columbia, SC, where former Port Authority chair David Samson has a summer home, in return for fee reductions and other special treatment. The so-called chairman’s flight was set up while United was negotiating for tens of millions of dollars in reduced fees.

According to United’s new nonexecutive chair of the board Henry Meyer, “Jeff’s departure is in connection with the company’s previously disclosed internal investigation associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.” The announcement was made during an investor call.

Samson is a longtime mentor and confidante of Gov. Chris Christie, who is currently seeking the Republican presidential nomination. The Port Authority chair resigned in the wake of the Bridgegate investigation. (P

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