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Despite Probe, Law Firm Picked for ARC Tunnel Project

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The State of New Jersey has picked a leading Democratic law firm to do work for the new midtown rail tunnel, even though the firm was at the center of a failed development project in the Meadowlands, that's now under federal criminal investigation. WNYC's Bob Hennelly has more.

REPORTER: New Jersey Attorney General Anne Millgram has selected DeCotis, Fitzpatrick Cole and Wisler to be one of three firms to divvy up $2 million in legal work for the ARC Tunnel project.

The firm, which historically has been a major Democratic Party contributor, was given the work despite the scathing review they got in a 2008 State Inspector General report. That report investigated EnCap, a Meadowlands landfill re-development that got hundreds of millions of dollars in public subsidies but was never completed. The state IG concluded that Encap and its lawyers consistently misled officials in the process.

The law firm did not return calls for comment. A spokesman for the state Attorney General said that nothing in the Inspector General's report disqualified the law firm for the ARC tunnel work. Governor Corzine's office has confirmed that the FBI has served it with subpoenas for documents related to Encap that date back to the McGreevey Administration. For WNYC , I'm Bob Hennelly.

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