The Law Firm at the Center of Christie's Hoboken Dispute

Sunday, January 19, 2014

As the Christie Administration vehemently denies allegations that it pressured Hoboken's Mayor to sign off on a redevelopment deal in exchange for Sandy aid, a very powerful and politically-connected law firm has surfaced as a controversial player in the dispute.

Wolff & Samson was hired by the developer, the Rockefeller Group, that wants to build a 40-story office tower in the north end of Hoboken. Its founder is David Samson, an ally of Governor Christie and chairman of the Port Authority, the agency at the center of the scandal over the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority also funded a redevelopment study in Hoboken, which other developers say unfairly favored Wolff & Samson’s client.

It’s unclear if Wolff & Samson knew of the threats Mayor Zimmer says Christie administration officials allegedly made - that they'd withhold Sandy aid if she didn’t support the development. Still, some critics are raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest, since the law firm was also chosen by the state to help audit its handling of the disaster recovery effort.

Jeff Tittel of the Sierra Club's New Jersey Chapter said the firm’s closeness to Governor Christie means it’s not independent. Tittel likened it to a wolf guarding a henhouse. 

Staci Berger of the Housing and Community Development Network also said the connection raises questions. “You can’t have anything that even looks remotely like you’re involved, whether you are or not,” she said. “You need to have both the arm’s length ability to review and the appearance of an arm’s length.”

Wolff & Samson released a statement saying its conduct in the Hoboken deal was “appropriate in all respects.”


Julianne Welby


More in:

Comments [5]

iMan9796 from New Jersey

Why wasn't General Sampson fired for the tone & callousness of his emails just like Bill Stepien? Or for lying to Gov. Christie about not knowing or being involved in the GWB fiasco like Bridget Kelly? The Gov. & Gen. met for 2 hours, what could they have been possibly talking about for that long, more coverups or conflicts of interest? Perhaps all of the well documented illegalities taking place at the Port Authority Bus Terminal orchestrated by corrupt Port Authority Supervisors & Managers. Or maybe how to buy Men in Black pens & pixie dust for their upcoming day of reckoning? Are we in a Twilight Zone episode that they forgot to tell us about? Maybe Gov. Christie is making General Sampson go down with him on the RMS Christie-tanic ship. Rikers right ahead!!!

No one should be above the law, no matter who they are or who they work for.

Feb. 01 2014 03:16 AM
Oliver from Portland


Jan. 31 2014 07:44 AM
Mary Mills from jersey City

Why then, didn't Hoboken get its money? WHY were we in Jersey City shorted on school funding by millions? The Emergency funding has such procrustean definitions of a "victim" it is hard to know who will get any help. Iit was over a year coming, and very little money.

Jan. 20 2014 03:04 PM

It's a wonder just how organized the left truly is!! All the Liberal political "Hacks" are in constant touch, seem to have only one motive, to do anything they possible can to smear, attack, destroy any potential republican candidate!
The hypocrisy is deafening, would they use the same lying innuendo's, or even research any of Obama's activities, his involvement in the Benghazi scandal, Hillery's involvement in the Syrian and "Egyptian Spring debacles, Her lack of knowledge of the run-up to Benghazi!
Ain't it great when you have a "suck up" compliant media!

Jan. 20 2014 01:14 PM
Paul Simons from Philadelphia

"if it lucks like a duck..." and this one looks like a duck. Actually more like a hog.

Jan. 20 2014 10:23 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by