State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) confirmed that an interim report of the findings of the legislative Select Committee on Investigation regarding the Bridgegate scandal will be submitted tomorrow to committee members and released to the public on Monday.
“[The interim report] will show where we are at this moment,” Weinberg, the committee’s co-chair since its inception in January, told PolitickerNJ on Wednesday. “It is a chronology of everything that we know at this point, with background, emails, testimony and annotation. I don’t think that there is anything that is earth-shatteringly new, but I think it paints a picture when you read it all in a chronological manner.”
Weinberg noted that the interim report would be presented to the full investigative committee by late Thursday. The committee will meet on Monday, when Weinberg expects it to be released to the public.
Weinberg said that the presentation of the interim report does not in any way mark a definitive time-stamp regarding the conclusion of the investigation and the subsequent release of a final report.
“A lot depends on when we will be able to interview those people who the U.S. Attorney has asked us not to interview,” said Weinberg in reference to the federal investigation of the September 2013 of the George Washington Bridge access lane closures, now known as the Bridgegate scandal.
The alleged involvement of senior Christie administration and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey staff in the lane closures have led to accusations of political retribution against Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who failed to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie in last year’s gubernatorial race. Christie has denied that any retaliation took place.
“This is a very complete chronology,” Weinberg added. “It’s been put into a form that is coherent. As for the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation, you know as much about that as I do.”
State Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), the committee’s other co-chair, pointed out a key difference between the state and federal investigations of Bridgegate.
“[The U.S. Attorney’s Office is] concerned with an examination of whether or not laws have been broken and whether a prosecution should follow. Our examination is about how to fix a broken system and make sure that those transgressions can’t happen again,” Wisniewski said. “It’s unacceptable that the mechanisms of the Port Authority can be utilized by one state’s governor’s office in this fashion for what clearly were not governmental purposes and that appear to have had political overtones.”