The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said this week that it is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, adding to the series of inquiries that have been ordered since the lane-closing scandal at the George Washington Bridge last year.The disclosure came in a 228-page report on Thursday to potential buyers of the agency’s bonds, in which the Port Authority said the commission was conducting “a parallel investigation in one of the matters under review” by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.The inquiry by Mr. Vance’s office is focused, at least in part, on the agency’s handling of roadway construction projects, including the Pulaski Skyway and the Bayonne and Goethals Bridges, according to several people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because that investigation is continuing.
About $1 billion in planned Port Authority spending was diverted to the Pulaski Skyway project, championed by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. The bridge, connecting Newark and Jersey City, is operated by the state, not the Port Authority.Two of the people said the district attorney’s office had issued subpoenas to a number of construction companies involved in the projects, as well as officials at the Port Authority.The new document, which The Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported about on Thursday, acknowledged that the agency had received and was responding to “several grand jury subpoenas” from the office of Mr. Vance; the United States attorney in Newark, Paul J. Fishman; and an investigative committee of the New Jersey Legislature.The S.E.C. declined to comment. A spokesman for the Port Authority would not confirm the content of the commission’s investigation, referring only to the agency’s statement in the bond document.
According to the Bergen Record:
Christie has said previously that he is confident that there was nothing improper about the Port Authority agreement to fund the Pulaski Skyway, Route 139, Wittpenn Bridge and Portway New Road – noting that lawyers from the Port Authority and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office reviewed the plan.
"I relied upon the advice of lawyers on both sides of the river to come to that conclusion and I'm confident that if the SEC reviews it — if that's what they're doing — that they'll come to the same conclusion that those dozens of lawyers came to on both sides of the Hudson River," Christie said in April.
Sure they will.