The helicopter scandal is growing for Chris "Austerity Is For Others, Not For Me" Christie:
The Christie administration will not release complete flight records for State Police helicopter trips taken by the governor, logs that were routinely released upon request by past administrations – including earlier in Gov. Chris Christie’s term, his spokeswoman said.
The records generally include takeoff and landing dates, times and locations. At least one news organization – Bloomberg News – had requested and received such information from Christie’s administration last year.
The Wall Street Journal requested Christie’s flight records Wednesday but has not yet received an official response; state rules require officials to respond to requests within seven business days.
Christie’s use of the helicopter came into question this week when he used the aircraft to travel to a personal event – his son’s playoff baseball game – and on to a political one, a dinner with donors from Iowa.
“Due to security concerns, we’re not releasing specific flight itineraries,” said Maria Comella, the governor’s communications director. Comella said State Police officials had raised security concerns. She declined to answer questions about who decided against releasing the records or when that decision was made. She also declined to comment on logs that have already been released.
“I’m not going to speak to previous disclosures,” she said. She said she could not speak about the Journal’s request for records through the public records process, which in New Jersey is called OPRA, named for the Open Public Records Act.
The Christie administration this week released a list of dates of State Police helicopter flights taken by the governor, lieutenant governor or staff members, with a description of the purpose of the trip, but those records omit details such as flight times and precise destinations.
They included meetings at the Statehouse in Trenton, visits to a fatally wounded State Trooper and a meeting with Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has pledged millions to the city’s schools. The flights related to the baseball games and the political event in Princeton were each labeled “Family Event in Mendham.”
Previous governors have routinely released details of flight logs, including Hobbs meter readings, which log flight times.
Democratic lawmakers have called on the governor to release the records and said they would hold hearings into the use of the helicopter.
What's he hiding?