January 25, 2014 4:10 am -

This news is not good for either David Wildstein or Chris Christie. Such a refusal from the NY/NJ Port Authority means that their position is that Wildstein was acting waaay outside the scope of his authority.

The Port Authority will not pick up the legal bills of a former executive at the center of an investigation into the George Washington Bridge access lane closures.

On Friday morning the agency notified David Wildstein, the agency executive who ordered the September lane closures, that it had turned down his request for indemnification, a Port Authority source familiar with the decision said. The notification said Wildstein’s request “would not be warranted” under the agency’s bylaws, the source said.

Those by-laws state that the Port Authority will provide current and former employees with legal representation if the action in question fell within their job duties, according to its bylaws. It will not pay if there was fraud, malice, misconduct or intentional wrongdoing, the bylaws state.

The decision puts additional financial pressure on Wildstein at a time when several investigations into the lane closures proceed. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating whether any federal laws were broken. There is a separate legislative investigation by a panel with subpoena power.

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.