Planet Princeton

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Reviewing Contempt Charges Against former Port Authority Employee

Wildstein
Wildstein

Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph L. Bocchini Jr. confirmed this afternoon that contempt charges against David Wildstein in the Bridgegate matter have been referred to his office.

Wildstein, a former Christie appointee to the Port Authority who resigned over the scandal, refused to testify last week at a New Jersey State Assembly transportation committee hearing.

Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski, chairman of the committee provided documents to the prosecutor’s office today. Bocchini said his office will review the documentation and relevant statutes and case law to determine whether the facts and circumstances warrant the filing of a formal misdemeanor charge.

“It is my understanding after speaking with Alan Zegas, Mr. Wildstein’s counsel, that an appeal on the contempt finding is forthcoming,” Bocchini said. “In that case, any action on the part of my office would logically be stayed pending the appellate decision.”

Wildstein refused to answer almost all of the transportation committee’s questions while under oath, after being subpoenaed by the committee. His attorney argued that his right to plead the Fifth superseded the committee’s powers. The panel censured Wildstein.

A high school classmate of Christie, Wildstein resigned from his Port Authority position on Dec. 6, citing the Fort Lee lane closures as a distraction. Text messages released last week revealed he was at the center of the Bridgegate scandal. In one text message someone wrote to Wildsteon, “I feel badly about the kids. I guess.” He responded, “They are the children of Buono voters.”

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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