Christie Administration Violates Public Records Law

Friday, January 31, 2014

Gov. Christie denies having any knowledge of the lane closures at a January press conference. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

The release of subpoenaed documents that exposed the Christie administration's involvement in Bridgegate show how the Governor's Office has been keeping its decisions and expenditures quiet despite laws that require official business to be made public. Matt Katz, New Jersey Public Radio reporter, and Andrea Bernstein, metro editor for WNYC News, discuss his reporting on the transparency within the Chris Christie office.


Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz

Comments [18]

John in MN from Minnesota

Even out here, in the bottomlands of the North Fork of the Crow River, there is a waft of odor. It's said to be emanating from the NJ political machine, which we are told is looking for its oil can. One can only hope that the oil can contains nothing but the truth. But, don't count on it.

Feb. 11 2014 08:03 AM

" . . . Mr. D’Souza’s real crime, the only offense that really matters in Washington these days, is being an Obama critic. Oh, they say he borrowed a couple of people’s names, but his real mistake was doing it in the Wendy Long Senate campaign. For Obama 2008 donors, borrowing other people’s names seems to have been a requirement. . . . "

Mote meet beam. ;-)

Feb. 02 2014 02:50 PM

I'm no fan of Christie's. There is no smoking gun - yet. Only a self-serving statement, "press-released" by the attorney for a person who refused to testify on the matter when given the opportunity to do so. This is the worst kind of irresponsible press coverage.
"Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!"

The coverage reminds me of the right-wing "scandal" publicity surrounding the IRS' unintentional targeting of anti-Obama groups during the 2012 presidential campaign

I am saddened that you are seeming to participate in the "pack journalism" on this issue in light of the guidelines contained in Jonathan Kern's "Sound Reporting" and in light of you Twitter retraction, on the same topic, for, what I took at the time to be, a merely thoughtless comment:

[ " Brian Lehrer Show @BrianLehrer @hicks136 @GonzalezSarahA You're right, that was poorly phrased - we've deleted. 08:33 PM - 21 Jan 14 " ]
[Why did I think that the voluntary deletion reminded me of the occupational duties of Orwell's Winston Smith.)

Don't bother to assert your freedom from journalistic standards, I'm aware you are not bound by any claimed standard of being "Fair, Accurate, Complete, and Honest" (maybe that caveat should be stated at the beginning of each show and printed on the show's web page?) You're only in the business of building an audience by "show casing" NPR reporters and stories that transgress those sentimental standards.

Should the formal investigation uncover any authenticated e-mails warning against giving any information about this traffic scam to Christie I expect you'll find it just as easy to "delete" these "mistakes".

Maybe you should see if anyone has the rights to "Absence of Malice II"

Feb. 02 2014 05:17 AM
Mike from Washington Heights

Impeachment can't be that far off. Is that what happens? Are governors impeached, fired, or do they just resign?

Jan. 31 2014 09:36 PM
Liz from South Jersey

Thank you for your fabulous work all along the way. What great journalism, and I look forward to following all of your work as the evidence continues to grow.

Jan. 31 2014 08:49 PM
lorraine wearley from New Jersey

Please continue to do this fine job in investigating and reporting on these issues in NJ. I believe this additional information on the inequities in the distribution of Sandy Funds will be helpful to you (note Housing Community Development Network of NJ,

"HCDNNJ Publishes Report on Problems with Sandy Recovery, Raises Awareness of Issues on MSNBC Panel

A coalition of groups, including the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, have released a report looking at homeowners and renters who were displaced by Sandy and are still waiting to return home.

The report, titled "The State of Sandy Recovery: Fixing What Went Wrong with New Jersey's Sandy Programs to Build a Fair and Transparent Recovery for Everyone," suggests changes for the next $1.4billion in federal funds, expected soon, that will provide a fairer, more transparent, and more effective Sandy recovery."

Jan. 31 2014 06:45 PM

meet : el presidente caudillo de la republica feudal de nueva Jersey.. what a bonafide bozo...!!

Jan. 31 2014 01:04 PM
Teresa Moore


Jan. 31 2014 11:19 AM
Santos Murillo from Kearny

I am convinced that Bridgegate has nothing to do with retaliation for failure to endorse the governor. If we learned anything from Watergate it was Deep Throat's instruction to "follow the money". Half a billion dollars of contracts are up for consideration to complete the development project which counts on access to the bridge. Check who has bid or wants to bid for the contracts and their connections to the governor. Zimmer was strong armed to induce her to endorse selective development. Remember Christie started his career as a lobbyist and an influential fundraiser. He needs money from his grateful constituents to run for president and his methodology includes persuasive tactics to get people to do what he needs.

Jan. 31 2014 11:05 AM
Richard from Garfield

Has anyone else noticed during the hearings that there was a binder of 700+ pages? I wonder how many sets were printed and at what cost. Any the real fun part is this was all digital info to start with. Maybe we should just resolve the NJ unemployment and go back to scribes and papyrus.

Jan. 31 2014 11:03 AM
Martin from Kearny, NJ

The Rachel Maddow Show had a piece a couple weeks ago focused on "an alternate theory" about the initial cause of the Bridgegate lane closures, suggesting that it was the resulting reaction to a NJ Democratic boycott of Christie's NJ Supreme Court seat fillings.

Because I have not heard any other commentary on this, I'm curios to hear how plausible people think this is. It seemed a lot more likely than the "campaign blowback" theory and personally, I think it would prove to be a bit of relief for the Christie Administration if the real cause was still buried.

Jan. 31 2014 10:52 AM
Judith Hernandez from Parsippany NJ

Please, please, please Matt Katz look into Morris County! Look into the development proposals in Parsippany, the companies and politicians behind those companies and how they influenced the November 2013 elections in this town. Look at how the Republican Committee pours money into the local races in Morris County, Christie's county. What we have been seeing on the State level is old news here in Morris County. There is NO real local news reporting here.

Jan. 31 2014 10:48 AM
Matt Widman from Greenwich Village

A cost analysis should be noted and publicized in this age of "austerity" revealing how much of the state tax payer's money the Christie Administration is spending defending it's own ("illegal") behavior by litigating lawsuits (for years on the tax payer's dime) over laws, such as the disclosure laws, that it's violating.

Jan. 31 2014 10:45 AM
J Woodcock from New York

Thank you for the quality investigative reporting done on corruption in the Christie/Samson administrations of New Jersey and the Port Authority.
I wonder why this is not getting more attention by national news departments.
Our democracy counts on true Journalism like yours.
Thank you.

Jan. 31 2014 10:44 AM
Barb from Manhattan

I hope these lawsuits seeking information also seek fines to be levied against recalcitrant public officials who unlawfully deny information requests. Hit them where it hurts -- in their budget.

Jan. 31 2014 10:44 AM

That sort of acrid smell you sense is Christie's chances for the 2016 GOP nomination going up in smoke...

Jan. 31 2014 10:43 AM

Sandy aid funded $4.8 mil distributed to New Brunswick, a college town for a new apartment building. Town was ranked 188 way down on the list damaged by Sandy..

Jan. 31 2014 10:38 AM
Jennifer from NYC

Not just Samson, but Christie's brother was reported to be buying land around the Harrison Path Station.

Jan. 31 2014 10:37 AM

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