UPDATE: Wisniewski has extended a subpoena deadline for Wildstein and Baroni, not to the Jan. 9 date Baroni’s lawyer requested. They have until Monday to produce subpoenaed documents.
Via Wall Street Journal, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni have lawyered-up. And a three-week extension to produce subpoenaed documents, sought by Baroni’s new lawyer, was turned down today by John Wisniewski, who chairs the Assembly Transportation Committee which issued the subpoenas as part of its ongoing investigation.
The subpoena deadline is tomorrow. It covers emails and other correspondence between several officials at Port Authority, including Wildstein and Baroni, who have both “resigned” as the investigation deepens, PA ED Patrick Foye and others.
Wildstein hired Alan L. Zegas, a criminal lawyer who defended Sharpe James in federal corruption charges brought by Chris Christie when he was U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Baroni hired Michael Himmel, an attorney who specializes in white collar crime.
Baroni and Wildstein are close associates of Gov. Chris Christie, and investigations include questions about any involvement the Christie administration may have had.
Wildstein is a friend of Gov. Christie dating back to school days. He is the person identified by WSJ to have ordered the lane closures that caused traffic chaos in Fort Lee for 5 days. Robert Durando, GWB’s general manager for 11 years, told the panel Wildstein ordered him not to tip off anyone in Fort Lee about what was happening. That only added to speculation that action may have been political payback from Christie’s high-level placements at Port Authority, to “punish” Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Christie when he was asked to two weeks earlier.
Wildstein was hired by Bill Baroni, without any clear academic or previous work history qualifications, for an executive position with no job description created for him at a $150k salary. Wildstein A/K/A “Wally Edge” was the founder of PolitickerNJ. Bill Baroni, Christie’s top political appointee, was Deputy Executive Director at Port Authority at a salary of nearly $300k. Baroni’s testimony before Assembly Transportation, backing Wildstein and the scenario of a “traffic study” was directly contradicted several days later by Port Authority officials including Executive Director Patrick Foye, who said there was no traffic study and state and federal law was likely broken.
We learned yesterday that the investigation may broaden to include inquiries in the U.S. Senate and by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.