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In the discussion thread: Christie Crime Digest Volume III [View all]

Response to Laxman (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2015, 09:07 AM

124. Another Friday News Dump...

Last edited Mon Oct 5, 2015, 10:19 AM - Edit history (1)

and this one smells really bad. It also may have claimed the career of another person who couldn't figure out that getting too close to our favorite governor is hazardous to your reputation. This is an example of how much can happen in just one week. On Monday, an interesting article was written by WNYC's Matt Katz about Jamie Fox, the long time democratic fixture in NJ politics who was appointed Transportation Commissioner by Chris Christie about 1 year ago. Before that, he was a happy and prosperous lobbyist promoting the interests of United Airlines. See item # 260 over at the Christie Crime Digest which is remarkably still growing. I had heard when he was appointed that it was to placate the democrats and smooth the way for Christie's presidential campaign. Apparently that was true. Seems Mr. Fox tried to influence his democratic friends in the legislature to deep six the Bridgegate probe before it got too far.

Sources: United Lobbyist, Now Christie Cabinet Member, Tried to Stop Bridgegate Probe

Jamie Fox is a Democrat with Republican friends, a cabinet member in the Christie Administration who worked for three out of the last four Democratic governors, an operative who has survived in New Jersey politics through relationships, smarts and a reputation for toughness.

Now, he is linked to the two most notorious scandals to hit Gov. Chris Christie: Bridgegate and the Chairman's Flight.

Fox tried to influence Democrats in the Legislature to back off from its investigation of the mysterious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in the fall of 2013, according to three sources from the Legislature and Port Authority close to the investigation. And he expressed anger that the investigation persisted even after Port Authority deputy executive director, Bill Baroni, testified to the Assembly Transportation Committee that the lane closures were part of a traffic study. Baroni's testimony was discredited shortly afterward when the "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email was released.

It was unclear on whose behalf Fox did this lobbying, although he dined regularly with his friend, David Samson, the former Port Authority chairman and Christie confidante who is now ensnared in the so-called Chairman's Flight scandal. Federal investigators are looking into whether Samson asked United Airlines to establish a flight route from the Port Authority-owned Newark Liberty Airport to Columbia, S.C., where Samson has a weekend home, in a deal that would have lowered United's costs.


As if that news wasn't bad enough, the next day, Mr. Fox was accused of ethics violations for taking part in meetings regarding his former friends at United Air Lines:

Ethics issue arises over United Airlines subsidy; N.J. DOT chief denies breaking rule

New Jersey transportation chief James P. Fox violated ethics laws, a former director of the state’s ethics commission said Tuesday, by sitting in on a closed-door meeting in November that included discussions about United Airlines, a company that Fox represented as a lobbyist a month earlier.

Fox’s department, in a strongly worded rebuttal, said no violation took place.

“Commissioner Fox did not take part in any conversation about United, there has never been a vote on any United matter since he has been commissioner, and there was no ethical violation,” Stephen Schapiro, a spokes­man for the state’s Transportation Department, said in a lengthy statement released Tuesday evening.

But two former commissioners of the State Ethics Commission, in separate interviews Tuesday, said a fact pattern delineated in news reports on Monday presented strong evidence to the contrary. State laws prohibit government employees from involving themselves in a matter that relates to a former business associate in the private sector for at least one year. In such cases, they said, the official is required to recuse himself from discussions, even if no decision is made.


and then on Friday the proverbial "other shoe" dropped-quite a week for the formerly fabulous Mr. Fox:

N.J. transportation commissioner leaves amid federal probe

He expressed frustration over the state's failure to fund the bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund.

But New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox's former role as a lobbyist for United Airlines also had come under increasing scrutiny in recent months, amid a sweeping federal corruption investigation into the airline's dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

On Friday — the veteran Democratic political strategist asked by Republican Gov. Chris Christie to return to the cabinet post he once held under Gov. James E. McGreevey — said he would step down by the end of the month.

"I returned to government understanding it would entail a personal sacrifice and that it would not be a lengthy stay," Fox said in a statement.

Fox had been in the job for only a year, but had been stymied over efforts to gain support for an increase in the gas tax to help fund the state's roads and bridges across the state.

More recently, though, his name had surfaced in the continuing federal probe of former Port Authority chairman David Samson.


So the stench of Chris Christie has soiled yet another person who worked to press the agenda of promoting the personal ambition of the bloviating blimp. David Samson, the chairman of United Air Lines, now Mr. Fox and who knows how many others to come drowning in the cesspool of Christie's corruption-with the people of NJ paying the bills all the way.

But in the words of Billy Mays-THAT'S NOT ALL!

Port Authority: Former Christie Appointee Deleted Key Records

Bill Baroni did it.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey now says former Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, once Gov. Chris Christie’s top staffer at the bi-state agency, hid from public view key records of meetings with United Airlines and its lobbyist, current Christie transportation commissioner Jamie Fox. Baroni was indicted last May for his role in the Bridgegate conspiracy.

The records, possible key details in a bribery investigation by the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, were deleted long before prosecutors began subpoenaing records concerning United Airlines.

If proven, current and former prosecutors say, hiding the meetings could bolster a federal case. “If you have concealment and cover-up it could be very valuable evidence to prove intent,” said one prosecutor who didn't want his name used because he's not authorized to speak on the case.

Baroni’s attorney, Mike Baldassare, called the Port Authority’s statement “profoundly wrong.”

At issue is whether United Airlines, in exchange for tens of millions of dollars in annual flight fee reductions, set up a special direct flight route from Newark Airport to Columbia, S.C. near the weekend home of David Samson, the former Port Authority chair and a close Christie confidante.

Records of four key meetings were removed from Bill Baroni’s calendar, which was made public in April, 2014, after a freedom of information request by the New York Times. WNYC only learned of the meetings because a subsequent document request, filed 14 months later under a new regime at the bi-state agency, turned up the documents.


http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/15/09/28/united-lobbyist-now-christie-cabinet-member-pressed-for-halt-to-bridgegate-investigation#

http://www.northjersey.com/news/ethics-issue-arises-over-united-airlines-subsidy-n-j-dot-chief-denies-breaking-rule-1.1421343

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/10/nj_transportation_commissioner_leaves_amid_federal.html#incart_river_home

http://www.wnyc.org/story/port-authority-former-christie-appointee-deleted-key-records/

Now That's quite an update!

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