Thanks to Middlegirl for bringing us this article by Melissa Hayes, of the Star-Ledger Lawmakers in GWB lane closure probe reviewing newly uncensored messages. The NJ legislative committtee investigating the Christie-gate, GWB lane closures now has the complete un-redacted documents previously turned over by David Wildstein. Middlegirl sent this article to me, last night when she was too busy to write it up, and now, I see she already has another top rec post this morning. Sorry for the delay MiddleGirl, I got side-tracked by the expose of Kappa Beta Phi, in the Wall Street secret society.
The legislative panel investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures now possesses un-redacted documents from a key witness, and lawmakers are working to make those once-secret details part of their public records.
Those documents come from David Wildstein, a former executive appointed by Governor Christie to the Port Authority, who carried out the lane closures that tied up traffic in Fort Lee for four days in September. In documents he originally provided to lawmakers, Wildstein included a series of text messages sent during and after the closures. But he had blacked out portions of those messages, hiding the identities of his partners in some of those conversations.
Wildstein submitted 908 pages of documents in response to a legislative subpoena. They were made public last month after Wildstein refused to testify before the committee, citing his constitutional right to protect against self-incrimination. Of those documents, 45 pages included redactions. The majority withheld phone numbers of Port Authority staff, but there were 20 pages containing transcripts of text messages that also had portions blacked out.
These documents are focusing attention Senator Kevin O'Toole, (R) who is also one of the members of the investigative committee. In a text message between Wildstein and Bill Baroni after Bill Baroni's controversial and false testimony Wildstein texted Baroni, "The "O'Toole statement is ready."
O'Toole issued a statement immediately after Baroni's testimony accusing the Democrats of trying to "score political points."
The controversy among members of the NJ Investigative Committee is escalating as Senator Loretta Weinberg, the Democratic co-chairman of the committee says they may have to question O'Toole. “We could come to a point where we have to question him. It could very well be that they told him a story that he believed, but that might have to come out in questioning.” The NJ Star-Ledger has proposed that the Democrats accept 2 Republicans as potential Replacement for O'Toole to mitigate perceptions of partisanship.
It's a big deal when the potential scandal expands to include possible complicity of one of the Republican Senator's on the committee potentially helping with a group effort to help Boroni with his false testimony about the non-existent bridge study cover story.
10:13 AM PT: Hey thanks everyone for the recs. This is one of those rare times when I have three posts on the Rec board at the same time. This hasn't occurred for over a year. Also, I'm just about 500 recs short of showing up on the first-page of total recs, and total followers. I'm already on the most prolific. I just past Micheal Moore for total lifetime recs. Thanks again.
Those that want a peak into my personal journey of narcissism. Here's the top of page 2 of Total Recs. Cue Music Offspring's "Low Self Esteem." One of my favs.
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10:25 AM PT: Breaking Stepien's Attorney just announced he will not comply with the NJ Investigative Committee's document subpoena. Even the more specific one that bypasses his unusual claim, yet heard by the court that choosing docs he feels responds to the subpoena is a kind of testimony protected by the fifth. In a narrower subpoena he has no discretion so should not be able to attempt that extension of the fifth which does not apply to documents.