Daring Depravity

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Bridgegate Theory: Crooked Cops at the Port Authority

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There are a lot of theories on the GWB Closing scandal, as to why this happened?  It seems pretty straight forward that this happened because of political retribution, but what version of political retribution? A Failure to endorse Christie, a development deal that stepped on toes, event appointments to the NJ State Supreme Court have been put forward as theories.  Failing actual responses to the subpoenas, right now, all we have are theories, so here is a new one: Sokolich had a beef with the Port Authority Police Department, and the lane closure was retribution.

The alarm bell for me was the testimony of Bill Baroni.  Comparable to Colin Powell’s UN Presentation in a level of total B.S. the most telling moment was when he was asked about the planning of the “traffic study”.  When asked who he spoke with about this, the first person he sights is Paul Nunziato chairman of the police union, and the second person is Michael DeFillipis, delegate who worked on the bridge.  Let’s be clear, these are the UNION LEADERSHIP, not leadership within the structure of the actual police department.  Doesn’t it seem a little irregular that when questioned about where the idea for the “traffic study” came from, that no member of the actual power structure of the PA could be cited, and instead two members of the police union are cited?

(In addition, in follow up questions, Baroni is asked whether the study was done in house or whether an outside firm was hired, and he claims that the study was done in house.  Governor Christie and the PA hate to do anything in house, so that sounds like complete B.S. as well.)

At any rate, compare the testimony of Baroni with the stories coming out from the time of the Port Authority police blaming Sokolich, telling motorists to “call the mayor” and this looks sketchier and sketchier.  Now let’s add in the fact that the PA police union was one of the first labor endorsers of Christie in the 2012 election, and that because of the actions of Christie, the PA hired hundreds of more police officers at great public expense and this puts a whole new spin on the story.

So, here is a new theory, based totally on speculation.  Mayor Sokolich was fighting the PA over what police would be used to patrol an area of Ft Lee, possibly even the new development at the base of the bridge, and Sokolich picked local law enforcement over the PA Police that Christie, Baroni, Wildstein etc. wanted him to use.  This means less jobs for the PA Police Dept, which is bad for the PA Police Union, so the President and the Shop Steward of the PA PBA contact Baroni, Wildstein and Christie to pressure Sokolich to change his decision.

Sokolich stands firm, and doesn’t change his mind.  Arms are twisted, meetings are had, and Sokolich is still stubborn.  Threats are made that Ft Lee will lose its local access lanes if Sokolich does not comply.  A public narrative is developed that brands the access lanes on the bridge as “Ft Lee only” and that they are undeserving of these precious access lanes as a community.  State Senator Kevin O’Toole is used to make the case publicly, and Baroni and Christie stand by this in their public statements at different times.

When Sokolich doesn’t change his mind, in order to pay back friends and political endorsers Christie’s team unleashes “Traffic Problems in Ft Lee” aimed at “That little Serbian” as Wildstein put it continuing to use the Port Authority as a patronage mill with both the stick and the carrot.

The Port Authority police officers know that this dispute is over jobs for them and are in on it from the beginning.  They are told, probably by Nunziato and leadership of the PA PBA to explain to citizens that this is the Mayor’s fault.  It is assumed that if enough people call and bother him, that he will again change his mind and to help create even more jobs for Port Authority Police patrolling New Jersey.

Then, the whole thing gets shut down by Patrick Foye, and Sokolich outlasts them, either through dumb luck or guile, its hard to say.  Sokolich’s comments the first night the scandal in January were all over the place, and it sounds like he probably pissed off Christie in a bunch of different ways, and he can’t quite figure out which one of them caused the retribution.

This is my current working theory.  It sets off alarm bells anytime a Republican is asked why they did something, and they refer to the advice of a labor union.  Its highly irregular that the leadership of a union’s opinion would take the place of the leadership of the actual organization that they work in; no one asks the forklift operator’s opinion when doing a work rule study, they just ask the foreman. 

With today’s news that Nuziato is “stepping aside” while the scandal is ongoing, its only a matter of time before another layer of this onion is peeled back.

on tumblr: http://bit.ly/2KWsKdX

Written by Walt

April 22nd, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized