Christie Nominates Union Official to Port Authority Board

Governor Chris Christie nominated a union official to fill a board vacancy at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has been under scrutiny because of a scandal over lane closings at the George Washington Bridge.

Christie, a Republican, named Hoboken resident George Laufenberg, administrative manager of the Edison-based New Jersey Carpenters Funds, as a commissioner, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The nomination is subject to approval of the state Senate, which is led by Democrats.

In April, Christie nominated John Degnan, a former chief operating officer of Chubb Corp., to replace Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who resigned amid investigations by state lawmakers and the U.S. Attorney’s office into politically motivated traffic jams at the bridge, run by the Port Authority.

Another New Jersey commissioner, Anthony Sartor, resigned after Samson’s departure, citing his desire to spend more time with family. The Port Authority runs the New York City area’s three major airports, four bridges, commuter rail, two tunnels and the World Trade Center redevelopment.

In September, David Wildstein, an official charged with carrying out Christie’s agenda at the agency, shut lanes at the bridge in Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor didn’t endorse the governor’s re-election. Lawyers for Christie said in an internal report that he wasn’t aware of the plot.

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