Former New Jersey Attorney General David Samson has admitted he used his position as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to pressure United Airlines to restore an unprofitable flight to a city near a home he owns in South Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced that former state Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox has been charged with one count of conspiracy. Fox, a United lobbyist, allegedly served as a go-between with the airline and his old friend.
Samson, a Republican, and Fox, a Democrat, have both had long and bi-partisan government careers. Fox served both Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his Democratic predecessors, while Samson was attorney general under Democratic Gov. Jim McGreevey. Leading Democrats, including Senate President Stephen Sweeney, expressed support for Fox after news spread of the charges.
Samson resigned from the Port Authority amidst the “Bridgegate” scandal. United, which has agreed to pay a fine and cooperate with investigators, cancelled the “chairman’s flight” between Newark and Columbia, S.C., which Samson had taken 27 times, three days later.
Samson admitted threatening to block United’s plans for a new hangar at Newark but did not agree to cooperate with federal prosecutors, who are continuing to investigate the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in 2013. For more on this story from NJspotlight.com’s news partner NJTV, click here.
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