NJ Taxpayers Just Hired Another Lawyer for Christie

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(From Left to Right) Bill Baroni, Governor Chris Christie, and David Wildstein talk at World Trade Center Site, September 11, 2013

New Jersey taxpayers just hired another lawyer for their governor. 

Gov. Chris Christie, who has already charged New Jersey $11.3 million for attorneys to represent his office in the federal Bridgegate investigation, has added legal representation for a related state criminal matter.

Craig Carpenito is earning $150-an-hour to defend Christie from a criminal complaint filed by a local activist in Bergen County. The complainant, Bill Brennan, alleges Christie engaged in official misconduct during Bridgegate, as evidenced by sworn testimony from David Wildstein, the admitted co-conspirator. Wildstein claims Christie knew about the dangerous lane closures.

Christie is appealing, but is currently scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11. Carpenito is co-leader of the government and internal investigations division at his firm, Alston & Bird. His fees are capped at $10,000, a considerable discount from what partners at Christie's other law firm, Gibson Dunn, bill for their continued work on the case.

Two weeks ago Christie's spokesman failed to answer a question from WNYC about who was paying for Carpenito. But documents obtained via a public records request to the Attorney General's Office laid out the agreement.