David Samson, who had previously pleaded guilty to coercing United Airlines into running a route he personally wanted even though it was not profitable (the “Chairman’s Flight”), was sentenced today to a year of home confinement, four years of probation and 3,600 hours of community service. In addition to having already lost his law license, he will be required to pay a $100,000 fine and wear a location monitoring device. Judge Linares said, “It was a complete abuse of power. It was corruption that is not to be tolerated.”
Samson’s crime carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The prosecutor had recommended a two-year sentence. The judge granted a softer landing than most anticipated because of Samson’s “age, poor health, and letters of support from prominent individuals.”
Samson was a former NJ Attorney-General, Managing Partner of a prestigious law firm, close friend Governor Christie, and former Chair of the NY/NJ Port Authority. He is the fourth once ally of Gov. Christie to be convicted or to plead guilty to charges that arose from Bridgegate investigations.