Why did Chris Christie spend $700 on a limo from Newark to AC?

I really don’t want to hear about Chris Christie rail against government waste anymore. Millenium Radio took a further look at some of Chris Christie’s expenditures as US Attorney:

Brown also approved another controversial expenditure for Christie: a $700 round-trip limousine ride between Newark and Atlantic City. Christie, according to his schedules, was attending the annual dinner of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey. He was shuttled to Atlantic City, stayed over night at the Taj Mahal, submitted $190 in expenses, and took the same limo service back to Newark the next day. Brown approved the final travel voucher for Christie’s reimbursement. According to the limousine service, a $700 round-trip fare from Newark to Atlantic City gets you a stretch limo that seats 8.

“Listen, I have no recollection of that,” explains Christie. “I’d have to look at records which I don’t have to see it and that was not my normal practice….. Those of you who covered me during my seven and a half years as U.S. Attorney know that was not my normal practice. I drove everywhere……..I never took a stretch limousine.”

Brown would be Michele Brown, who seems to be involved in many of the Christie stories. It doesn’t matter if Christie says it wasn’t his normal practice, he practiced it here and unless they overcharged him for a Yugo, the limo company says he did in fact take a stretech limo. But it wasn’t just his rides where he went overboard:

Records turned over so far show Christie exceeded the government lodging allowance on 23 of 30 business trips taken between 2004 and 2008. In some cases, his travel vouchers were approved first by Brown, then certified by a third person. Christie, who was Brown’s supervisor, signed off on her travel, either in advance or when she submitted vouchers, the records show. The vouchers were all certified by a third party.

Here’s Christie’s justificiation for his hotel expenditures and travel, which of course he blames on someone else anyway:

“My secretary made my hotel reservations every time I had to travel and the instructions were very clear: find a government rate if you could, and if you couldn’t, get me the best rate at the most convenient hotel,” explained Christie yesterday. Asked if he signed all of the accompanying paperwork, he responded, “Yes, I have to sign my own forms, but I don’t always know what government rate is.”

Nothing is ever Chris Christie’s fault.  According to Chris, his secretary made the travel arrangements, the motorcyclist hit him and the tow truck driver identified him as US attorney in his other traffic situation. And when asked about the rules for everyone else should this case arise in his administration:

Christie was also asked if elected Governor, would he allow his cabinet to stay in five-star hotels. He replied, “I would want my cabinet to follow the same rules I followed as U.S. Attorney. If they were traveling and they could find the government rate they should use the government rate and if they couldn’t they shouldn’t sleep on park bench. They should find the best rate they could.”

In the same statement, he says they should follow the same rules he did, but find the best rate. The only problem were his rules to his secretary were the “best rate at the most convenient hotel.” An interesting caveat that once again demonstrates one set of rules for Christie and another set for everyone else, even when he says its the same treatment. Here’s what CREW had to say about the expenditures, which they called “astonishing:”

“I’m sure he knew better, and he chose to ignore the rules,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “There is never a situation where the only available hotel in Washington is the Four Seasons. If you stay there, you’ve chosen luxury and you’ve chosen to ignore the rules.”

Once again, Christie can’t remember why he ignored the rules and as usual when he does actually remember something, it’s someone else’s fault. This is the guy who wants you to trust him that he will make the change which he can’t tell you about until he gets there.

Comment (1)

  1. princetonblue

    These events seem possibly criminal events.  They are:

    1.  Christie and Brown stay at a luxury hotel in Boston.

    2.  The next week, Christie gives Brown a secret loan.

    3.  Brown then approves various, seemingly out-of-line, travel expenses for Christie.

    There was conflict of interest at work and Brown should have recused herself from working on Christie’s requests since she had a loan from him.   Was there more?  Was there an understanding that she would be approving such requests given the mortgage loan?  Quite frankly, this is how corruption works.  You donate or loan money to someone in exchange for them being less than objective when they make decisions.

    Personally, as a state worker, I know that this type of behavior is illegal for me and that I would be fired if I engaged in it.  These are serious revelations and I hope the Corzine campaign and the media keep the focus on them.  

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *