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Assembly To Vote On Combined Panel To Probe GWB Scandal

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, would co-chair the new bi-cameral committee being considered by the state Assembly Monday.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, would co-chair the new bi-cameral committee being considered by the state Assembly Monday.

On the heels of Gov. Chris Christie’s second-term inauguration, the state Assembly is set to vote on creating special bi-cameral committee to investigate the George Washington bridge scandal that already has lead to Christie’s inner circle.

Assembly Democrats announced Thursday that the lower chamber will convene in Trenton at Noon on Monday to vote on a measure creating a joint Senate-Assembly committee to probe the abrupt lane closures that gridlocked Fort Lee for nearly a week in September.

The move signals a coming together for Democrats after both chambers separately created their own investigative committees last week, each with subpoena power.

Only the Assembly committee, however, was seated. Chaired by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, the committee issued 20 subpoenas to Christie insiders and top brass at the Port Authority. Records demanded by the committee are due back Feb. 3.

"This is the optimal approach to ensuring the people of New Jersey get the answers they need to these questions about the abuse of government power," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), has said in a release.

The new committee, under the bill to be discussed Monday, creates a 12-member Select Committee on Investigations. Like the previous committees, it will be made up of eight Democrats and four Republicans -- five Assembly Democrats, three Senate Democrats, three Assembly Republicans and one Senate Republican.

Under the joint committee, Wisniewski would co-chair with Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen. But the joint panel will retain the former Assembly committee’s legal counsel, Reid Schar, the former assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich’s is serving a 14-year federal sentence for corruption after he was found guilty of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including the 2008 vacant U.S. Senate seat of then-President-Elect Barack Obama, while he was governor.

Kelly Van Rijn January 23, 2014 at 06:17 PM
It's kind of ironic that Democrats have dotting but destroy NJ since taking control of the state assembly, but only now find the energy to do something- investigate some bogus bridge 'scandal'. Please. I'd rather have them work on lowering my taxes, cut state spending, reign in the unions, etc, etc.
Phil Brooks January 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM
Kelly, Bogus? Do you really think so-called "Bridge-gate" is bogus? // My guess, and it's only that, is that, had the Governor been a Democrat, you'd be calling for his head. // I hope you'll let me watch when you have to eat crow. // Republicans haven't done much for anyone, save the so-called 1%. Not to worry, the Democrats haven't done much more. So, unless you're one of the beneficiaries of Republican largess, I'm not sure why you'd support either party.
Clay Thomas January 24, 2014 at 05:05 AM
Where is the "real property tax relief" Christie promised? I guess he was too busy doing "other" things! Well, he's toast now and so is his toadie!
Jeff B January 24, 2014 at 08:15 AM
@ Phil Brooks, you may recall that when the governor was a Democrat named Corzine, abusing his power in a motorcade driving down the highway at over 90 miles an hour, endangering the public and causing a wreck, no one was "calling for his head." I have no use for any of these so-called "public servants".
Phil Brooks January 24, 2014 at 09:36 AM
Jeff B, With me, it's not a Democrat/Republican thing as it appears to be with many who post here. // Corzine the Governor was incompetent and needed to have regulations in place to protect the state from Corzine the man of no scruples who headed up Goldman Sachs.

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