January 16, 2014 10:42 am -

It’s getting serious – on both sides.

The New Jersey governor’s office has lawyered up as revelations in the scandal triggered by George Washington Bridge lane closings last September continue to trickle out of Trenton:

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has hired a law firm to assist with an internal review in the wake of an apparent political payback scandal.

The firm will review best practices for office operations and assist with ongoing investigations.

Former federal prosecutor Randy Mastro will lead the team from the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Mastro was an assistant U.S. attorney who specialized in organized crime cases. He also once was a New York deputy mayor.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey State Senate committee probing allegations of wrongdoing have hired their own legal heavy hitter:

[T]he investigation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could go well beyond the George Washington Bridge lane closures, a scandal that could threaten Gov. Chris Christie’s political future.

In what is widely seen as a serious sign, an Assembly committee that will officially be formed today plans to hire Reid Schar, the former federal prosecutor who put Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich behind bars.

The bipartisan committee will be made of eight Democrats and four Republicans.

“I am confident these talented legislators have the backgrounds, temperaments and experience to conduct this inquiry in a bipartisan, professional and responsible manner,” state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) said.

The committee could issue subpoenas as early as today.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.