Port Authority Chairman During Bridge Scandal David Samson Resigns

(R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

By Priscilla Liguori 3-31-14

(R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie - Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

(R) New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that operates the George Washington Bridge, resigned March 28. David Samson oversaw the Port Authority during the bridge scandal in which investigators say lanes were closed as political retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, Mark Sokolich.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced Samson’s resignation during a news conference at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey.

“Over the past months, I have shared with the governor my desire to conclude my service,” Samson released in a statement. “The timing is now right, and I am confident that the governor will put new leadership in place to address the many challenges ahead.”

Christie defended Samson, who is also a former New Jersey Attorney General. The governor stated he still had “every faith and confidence in David’s integrity.”  Christie claims that Samson insisted he was not involved in the decision to close the lanes of the bridge.

Samson’s resignation occurred one day after the finalization of a report from an investigation set up by Christie’s own administration cleared Christie of any involvement in the scandal.

Samson declined to be interviewed in Christie’s investigation. The investigation’s report put the fault of the scandal on former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority appointee David Wildstein.  It also concluded that Christie’s former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority, Bill Baroni, knew about the lane closings when they stated they did not.

Additional investigations by the state legislature and federal officials to pinpoint the organizers of the massive traffic jams and their intent are ongoing.

At the conference, Christie added that his administration’s investigation “will stand
the test of time, and it will be tested.”

Samson is the fifth Christie administration official who was either fired or resigned subsequent to the scandal.