A criminal investigation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s $1.8 billion spent on “access roads” to the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge is unlikely to yield any criminal charges, according to a report in The Record.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office spent almost two years working alongside the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Christie administration officials and Port Authority employees improperly spent agency funds on roads such as the Pulaski Skyway and whether their actions rose to indictable offenses,” they wrote in yesterday’s cover story.
Citing unnamed sources close the investigation who spoke under the condition of anonymity, “the probe has not gathered sufficient evidence for a prosecution” after a two-year investigation.
The Port Authority justified the repairs to the Pulaski Skyway, Route 139, the Wittpenn Bridge and the Portway New Road by saying they were “access roads” to the Lincoln Tunnel, even though they are miles to the south of the tunnel and are not directly connected to it, the report explained.
Although agency lawyers called such logic “questionable,” the Port Authority’s 12 commissioners approved the massive $1.8 billion expenditure, set aside for “access infrastructure improvements,” in 2011.
Additionally, the U.S. Securities Exchange and Commission was investigation whether or not the bi-state agency “misled investors and bondholders,” while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office sought to hold individuals accountable for such an action.
The SEC can still potentially fine the Port Authority while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office could still issue a grand jury report without issuing any criminal charges, the report concludes.