New Jersey Assembly Democrats:Wisniewski Issues 7 More Subpoenas as Part of Investigation into Port Authority's George Washington Bridge Lane Closings

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Wisniewski Issues 7 More Subpoenas as Part of Investigation into Port Authority's George Washington Bridge Lane Closings

Seeks Documents and Communications from Top PANYNJ Officials

(TRENTON) - Assembly Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski on Thursday announced he has issued seven more subpoenas as part of his continued investigation into the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's decision to close access lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge in September without public notice or explanation.
The subpoenas seek documents and communications from the following key Port Authority officials:
· Patrick Foye; Executive Director
· Bill Baroni; Deputy Executive Director;
· David Wildstein; Director of Interstate Capital Projects;
· Cedrick Fulton, Director of Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals;
· Robert Durando, General Manager of the George Washington Bridge;
· Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association; and
· Darcy Licorish, Port Authority Police Department.
"We have heard from four key Port Authority officials, yet we still don't have any clear explanation for why and how these lanes were closed without public notice, putting public safety at risk throughout an entire community of our state," said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly transportation committee that has held two hearings on the matter. "Mr. Baroni was especially evasive, and subsequent testimony called into question the honesty of his remarks. These documents should provide key insight into whether these lane closings resulted from political operatives who were running amuck, or just sheer incompetence. Either answer is unacceptable, but the public deserves to know the truth."
Baroni claimed the lanes were closed for a traffic study. Fulton and Durando on Monday told the Assembly transportation panel that Wildstein ordered the lanes closed without public notice, but Foye told the committee on Monday that no traffic study existed. The Fort Lee mayor had implied the lanes were closed for political retribution.
Wildstein recently announced his resignation, but will be staying at the Port Authority through Jan. 1 making his $150,000 annual pay without job responsibilities.
Wisniewski has called for Wildstein and Baroni to be removed from the Port Authority by Gov. Chris Christie.
"Serious questions remain as to who plotted to close these lanes, who knew of the plans and what the real goal was here," Wisniewski said. "We know there was no traffic study. We know Mr. Baroni was evasive, unprofessional and seemingly less than truthful. We know Mr. Wildstein tried to keep these lanes closings hushed. We know Mr. Foye was left in the dark. We know Gov. Christie has scoffed at this serious issue. What we don't know is how exactly this happened. These subpoenas for documents are the next step in our investigation and will open the door to more possible subpoenas for testimony."
All seven subpoenas seek by Dec. 19:
· All documents and correspondence, produced between August 1, 2013 and the present date between Governor Chris Christie or any member of his administration and/or any employee, officer, or executive of the Port Authority, concerning the reduction from three to one of the eastbound Fort Lee, New Jersey access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013;
· All documents and correspondence, produced between August 1, 2013 and the present date, between and among any employee, officer, or executive of the Port Authority, including any documents and correspondence sent or received by Patrick Foye, Executive Director; Bill Baroni, Deputy Executive Director; David Wildstein, Director of Interstate Capital Projects; Cedrick Fulton, Director of Bridges, Tunnels, and Terminals; Robert Durando, General Manager of the George Washington Bridge; Paul Nunziato, President of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association; and Darcy Licorish of the Port Authority Police Department concerning the reduction from three to one of the eastbound Fort Lee, New Jersey access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013.
The subpoena to Foye also seeks:
· As referenced by Patrick Foye during the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee meeting on December 9, 2013, a copy of the media pendings from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013;
· As referenced by Patrick Foye during the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee meeting on December 9, 2013, a timeline of events surrounding the reduction from three to one of the eastbound Fort Lee, New Jersey access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013, including, but not limited to, the date when it was determined that Darcy Licorish would be promoted, the date of Mr. Licorish's promotion, the dates and times when Mr. Wildstein ordered individuals to close the access lanes, the date and time when Mr. Licorish was notified about the lane closures, and the date and time of any communications between Fort Lee borough police, mayor, or staff and the Port Authority; and
· As referenced by Patrick Foye during the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee meeting on December 9, 2013, estimates for the average delay to traffic at the Fort Lee entrance to the George Washington Bridge from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013 and the travel time impact for every other approach to the bridge from September 9, 2013 through September 13, 2013.

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