As ‘Bridgegate’s’ taxpayer-shouldered bills pass $10 Million, Christie refuses to let independent auditors ensure public is protected

He Should Pay His Lawyers Himself and Leave Taxpayers Out of It

Newark — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy said if the governor is so certain in the work of Gibson Dunn, and refuses an independent audit of the $10-million-and-growing in legal fees he is passing onto taxpayers, Christie should pay the bills out of his own pocket instead of saddling taxpayers.

“If he won’t allow an independent audit, Governor Christie should pay back taxpayers every penny he has squandered on this cover up,” Murphy said. “New Jersey’s taxpayers have no confidence in an audit conducted by people who report to the governor.”

After reading the Christie administration’s blanket refusal to allow for an independent audit, Murphy said the tirade and personal attacks showcases the governor’s disregard for ensuring the proper protection of the public’s money. In its response to Murphy’s call Friday for an independent audit of the $8.2 million in bills submitted by the New York firm of Gibson Dunn — which is charging state taxpayers $650 per hour — Christie’s office said it can audit itself through its own hand-picked and employed-at-will officials.

The last time Christie audited himself, it was with the multi-million-dollar “Mastro Report.” A federal judge appointed by Pres. George W. Bush criticized the Gibson Dunn taxpayer-funded report as being filled with, “opacity and gamesmanship.”

Meanwhile, as Christie defends spending more than $10 million of taxpayer money on his lawyers, he steadfastly refuses to release $5 million in funds for domestic and sexual violence prevention programs statewide, $400,000 to support Holocaust victims, $250,000 for small business development centers, $145,000 for Boys and Girls clubs, and $2 million for cancer research and patient services.

“This entire, sorry episode is emblematic of an administration that serves to protect the special interests, not the people’s interests, and puts politics first,” said Murphy. “New Jersey needs a governor who will have its back and actually cares about looking after all eight-million-plus residents of this state.”