New Jersey Newsroom

BridgeGate: What It Costs N.J.

New Jersey Newsroom — Sunday, April 20, 2014

BY IZZY TEKMEN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The BridgeGate scandal rocking Governor Christie is not simply costing him a possible 2016 presidential nomination, the scandal's legal fees are being funded by the pockets of New Jersey taxpayers. NJ.com reported that the investigation's legal fees have already reached over $525,000 at the end of Febuary.

New Jersey law permits employees to have state funded representation in such instances reported NJ Spotlight. The New Jersey State attorney general's office released the names of five law firms representing government officials on Monday. The $525,000 figure is the bill for only two law firms.

The individual attorney representing subpoenaed former Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stephien costs $340 an hour while the lawyers representing NJ legislators issuing the subpoena cost $350 an hour, reported NJ Spotlight.

A recently released report that has been labeled "whitewash" by a Quinnipiac poll is also being billed to taxpayers. The 344-page Mastro report was compiled by the the law office of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher to the tune of $650 an hour. Christie called the expense a "discounted rate" according to NJ.com. Only 36 percent believe that the $1 million report is a "legitimate Investigation"

Frustration over the cost of the scandal has resulted in protests. MSNBC reported that 20 people from New Jersey Citizen Action and New Jersey Working Families gathered outside the governor's 119th town hall in Somerset County on Tuesday. Protestors point to the expensive Mastro report and a $25 million Hurricane Sandy ad campaign as their main sources of fiscal gripe with the governor's office.

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