STATE — Gov. Chris Christie’s brother bought and sold a half dozen properties within walking distance of a PATH station slated for $256 million of renovations funded by the Port Authority.
The Christie administration has come under fire for unethical actions by former Port Authority official David Wildstein and Port Authority Chairman David Samson, whose law firm represents developers linked to
Christie, Wildstein and Samson are central figures in the unfolding scandal as allegations of retribution and influence emerge in the aftermath of the George Washington Bridge lane closure, itself a symbol of corruption by public officials who used unsuspecting motorists as political pawns.
“Even the casual observer of New Jersey politics would note the rough and tumble nature of the state’s political process,” said Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “The fact that the lanes were closed for reasons other than safety heightens the behavior’s seriousness in the eyes of voters.”
Republican pollster and strategist Rick Shaftan told a conservative talk show host that he thinks the GOP Governor could be in serious legal trouble for the George Washington Bridge incident.
Christie’s presidential aspirations appear to have been dashed by his current ethics challenges, but Shaftan hinted that the political heavyweight could be at risk of facing jail time if things continue to deteriorate.
In an LA Times interview, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman said of Christie, “There’s no question about it. He’s not in a good place right now.”
Todd Christie earned more than $60 million when his Wall Street firm, Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, was bought by the investment bank Goldman Sachs in 2000.
While Chris Christie was US Attorney, his younger brother became implicated in a federal fraud investigation but no criminal charges were filed.
A Securities and Exchange Administration settlement Todd Christie signed, dated Oct. 15, 2008, maintains that he carried out hundreds of trades that brought the firm thousands of dollars in profits at its customers’ expense, and had violated stock exchange rules.
Three months after his brother was sworn in as the Bush administration’s United States attorney for New Jersey, Todd Christie wrote a $225,000 check to the Republican National Committee.
About a year before the train station renovation was approved by the Port Authority, Todd Christie and two business partners created West Hudson Properties, a company that began buying residential property in the area.
West Hudson Properties built three homes on those lots and sold each of them after the station overhaul was announced for nearly triple the property’s original price, according to a report in the Bergen Record.
One of Todd Christie’s partners is Tony Ferreira and the other is his brother, Nelson Ferreira, the owner of Ferreira Construction, which was paid nearly $10 million in public contracts by state transportation agencies in 2012.
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