|In all of his self-serving statements about the early September George Washington Bridge lane closures in Fort Lee, above, Governor Christie has never spoken under oath.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The latest developments in the Bridgegate scandal could be a modern spin on the Biblical story of "Samson and De Liar."
"Samson" is Governor Christie's hand-picked Port Authority chairman, David Samson, a powerful New Jersey lawyer who has been called a father figure and mentor to the GOP bully.
After Samson was named to the unsalaried position, his law firm saw a significant increase in fees from lobbying and legal work for developers, NJ Transit and others, WNYC-FM and The Record have reported.
But a day after an "internal" review supposedly cleared Christie of any wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge lane closures, his Friday news conference brought us no closer to the truth about whether he is "de liar" in everything he's said -- none of it under oath (A-1).
In fact, an "ANALYSIS" on Page 1 today reports "many documents [in the 300-page report] appear to lend at least some credence" to the allegations against Christie (A-1).
Samson resigned Friday, becoming at least the sixth official to take the fall for the governor, whose claim of being lied to by a vindictive staff just doesn't ring true.
The staffer who should resign is Christie's foul-mouthed chief press spokesman, former Star-Ledger reporter Michael Drewniak, a real low-life who made derogatory references to reporters and newspapers covering the scandal.
In reference to Christie's onetime Port Authority crony David Wildstein, Drewniak (rhymes with "maniac") threatened to "claw his eyes out, pour gasoline in the sockets and light them up" (A-6).
But the story and report do not provide any context for the threat.
Wildstein says he told Christie at a 9/11 ceremony in Manhattan about the lane closures as they were happening.
Also hard to swallow is the report's claim that Christie "did not create a culture of political retaliation" against Democrats in Fort Lee, Hoboken and Jersey City who refused to endorse his bid for a second term last November.
Let's remember the internal review was led by prominent Republican lawyer Randy Mastro, a $1,000-an-hour practitioner who worked at a discount for Christie, but still managed to roll up a $1 million legal bill to choke taxpayers.
The lawyer for Bridget Anne Kelly, who sent the "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" e-mail as Christie's deputy chief of staff, blasted the report:
"The report's venomous, gratuitous and inappropriate sexist remarks concerning Ms. Kelly have no place in what is alleged to be a professional and independent report," attorney Michael Critchley said (A-1).
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer says she's willing to go under oath and repeat her claims that Christie officials threatened Sandy aid money to her city.
The report, she said Thursday, is "a one-sided whitewash of serious misconduct by the Christie administration" that was "sadly predictable" (A-1 on Friday).
That says it all.
Deputy Assignment Editor Dan Sforza continues to rely on accident photos and captions that provide no real information to readers, but do fill out his thin local news report (L-1).
A story on five people arrested last Sunday in an assault on a Palisades Park parking attendant is missing information on whether the victim worked for a restaurant, bank or other business (L-2).