Matt Katz has covered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for more than three years, first for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he created The Christie Chronicles blog, and now for WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio, where he runs The Christie Tracker and tweets @mattkatz00.
Matt has written about Christie for The New Republic, The Washington Post and POLITICO magazine, and he's writing a book about the governor for Simon & Schuster. Prior to moving to the Statehouse in Trenton he spent time in Afghanistan, writing a series on reconstruction efforts that won the Livingston Award for International Reporting for journalists under the age of 35. In 2009 his four-part investigation about Camden set the stage for an end to the state’s takeover of city government.
Born in the Bronx and raised in Queens and Long Island, Matt has nonetheless covered New Jersey -- beginning with school boards and planning boards in Christie's own Morris County -- since 2000.
His 2-year-old daughter, Sadie Belle, thinks it's hilarious when his voice comes on over the radio.
Once upon a time, the U.S. Attorney in Newark was investigating the governor in Trenton for corruption. Today, that U.S. Attorney, Chris Christie, is now a governor under investigation himself by a different U.S. Attorney, and he has formed an unlikely friendship with Jim McGreevey, the former governor he once ...
Memos from the Mastro report that cleared Gov. Christie of any wrongdoing in the Bridgegate scandal were just released. Matt Katz, reporter for NJPR, explains what the documents tell us about how the investigation was conducted, the skyrocketing cost to taxpayers and what was left out of the report.
Even though the documents read like a defense of Gov. Chris Christie, the newly-released interviews include some revealing quotes.
The state is paying $340 dollars an hour.
Some warn if the cap isn't renewed, services will be cut.
On May 13, 2013, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno had a now notorious chat with the mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, in the parking lot of a Sandy-damaged ShopRite.
Zimmer remembers Guadagno threatening her: If she didn’t approve a development project run by the Rockefeller Group, which was represented by Bridgegate-embroiled ...
In a victory for both Gov. Chris Christie and his former aides, a New Jersey judge has ruled that two key figures in the Bridgegate scandal do not have to turn over documents to a state legislative panel.
The 98-page ruling says Bridget Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff who wrote the "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email, and Bill Stepien, Christie's former political adviser and campaign manager, do not have to comply with the Legislature's subpoenas. While the Democrats who control the state Legislature's investigative committee have successfully obtained documents from dozens of people, Stepien and Kelly were thought to have correspondence and other documents that could link the scandal to Christie to find out what he knew, and when.
Without these documents, the Legislature's investigation -- a major headache for the governor -- is severely curtailed.
In a hearing last month in Trenton, attorneys for the pair fought the Legislature's subpoenas and argued that the Fifth Amendment protects them from incriminating themselves. Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson agreed, finding that given an active federal investigation into the scandal, self-incrimination was a real possibility. Although the committee argued that self-incrimination wasn't inevitable, Jacobson cited media reports and public comments by legislators to conclude that Stepien and Kelly may be under investigation by federal authorities for state crimes like official misconduct, in addition to federal offenses.
And, Jacobson ruled, even documents that show the defendants were doing government business on government time with government email accounts, the Fifth Amendment trumps any rule requiring workers to maintain public documents.
Stepien and Kelly also argued that the Fourth Amendment protects them from unreasonable searches and seizures -- a point Jacobson also agreed with, saying that the Legislature was on "a fishing expedition" asking for too broad of a range of documents. And, she said, the committee unjustly assumed that documents exist: "The Committee's sole argument is that since it is in possession of documents that reveal communications between Mr. Stepien/Ms. Kelly and David Wildstein [the Port Authority official who initiated the lane closures], further communications with an undetermined number of individuals about the lane closures must be in the possession of defendants."
Jacobson noted that the case was "challenging," presenting a "highly unusual" set of circumstances with little in the way of precedent.
For the legislative committee, an appeal is an option. But Jacobson offered other options, saying that she believes the committee has the power to grant immunity to Stepien and Kelly, thereby protecting them from prosecution based on the documents they provide. She also noted that if the Legislature granted immunity to Stepien and Kelly, that doesn't mean Stepien's evidence couldn't be used against Kelly in a criminal proceeding, and vice versa. Plus, Jacobson said, if emails involving Stepien or Kelly are held by a third party, that person or entity could be subpoenaed without violating their Fifth Amendment rights.
The legislative committee said in a statement that it will consider alternatives to get the information.
Stepien's attorney, Kevin Marino, said the ruling "represents a complete vindication of Bill Stepien." He said the committee "wasted the taxpayers' money -- and the nation's time -- on a frivolous lawsuit to enforce a clearly invalid subpoena."
And Kelly's attorney, Michael Critchley, said the ruling provided "a free tutorial on the protections the Fifth Amendment affords all citizens."
The thrust of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election strategy last year was to secure endorsements from Democratic officials -- and new Bridgegate documents show just how intent he was to make sure that happened.
The documents, culled by WNYC from thousands of pages released by his attorney last week ...
The governor auditions before the nation's biggest GOP donor and ends up making an apology.
Here are six takeaways from how the Christie Administration's lawyers unveiled a report from their internal Bridgegate investigation.
The "Sheldon Primary" is being held this weekend, and Chris Christie is a contender.
The gov is headed to Las Vegas Saturday, where he will join several Republican presidential candidates for a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition. But the real action will be around casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who ...
Christie's office is expected to release an internal review of the scandals enveloping his administration, particularly Bridgegate. Here's a primer on things to consider when the report is released.
It took five town hall meetings, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was finally asked his first question about Bridgegate.
The circle of people around Chris Christie who knew about the "traffic problems in Fort Lee" is growing -- though there is still no evidence directly linking the Governor to the plan. Matt Katz, reporter for New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC, explains what the newly-released Bridgegate emails suggest about the Christie administration's involvement. See all WNYC's Bridgegate coverage on The Christie Tracker.
New documents show Christie's former campaign manager was aware of GW lane closures while they were happening, and include a warning for another former aide to delete her social media accounts.
Here's a list of lobbyists, Sandy contractors and the politically connected who donated to Gov. Chris Christie's inaugural party.
The Bridgegate and Sandy aid scandals surrounding Governor Chris Christie can be a little confusing, so we thought we'd catch you up on how this all began. New Jersey Public Radio's Nancy Solomon and Matt Katz have the story so far.
The governor held his fourth town hall meeting since Bridgegate, and for the fourth time he didn’t get a single question about the scandal.
Bridget Ann Kelly, the former Christie aide made famous for her “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email, looked distraught as she watched her attorney argue she should not have to turn over documents.