AP sources: Christie faces another bridge probe

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm •  Published: June 25, 2014
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An 82-year-old steel truss bridge featured in the opening credits of "The Sopranos" and in Orson Welles' 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds" is now the second bridge for which Gov. Chris Christie's administration is facing an investigation.

The Manhattan district attorney's office and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether $1.8 billion in funding to overhaul the decaying Pulaski Skyway and related repairs was misrepresented in bond documents by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a person familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity.

And a government official with direct knowledge said the Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating.

Besides federal laws and regulations, New York state has its own securities law, called the Martin Act. It allows for criminal charges for making false statements when selling bonds and some other financial instruments; the charges can be felonies. The law also allows authorities to bring civil suits.

The agreement for the bridge project "was analyzed and negotiated by lawyers on all sides" and the bond disclosures were reviewed by a law firm that has served as underwriters' counsel for the Port Authority for 25 years, the Port Authority said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. declined to comment Tuesday. Spokespeople for Christie and the SEC also declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported on the district attorney's investigation into the $1 billion Pulaski Skyway project.

The Skyway connecting Newark and Jersey City carries more than 70,000 vehicles in and out of Jersey City, Hoboken and Manhattan daily. The inbound lanes of the bridge were closed in April for two years for the project.

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