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Former Blagojevich Prosecutor Tapped As 'Bridgegate' Lawyer

Reid Schar will be legal counsel for Assembly committee probing the GWB lane closure scandal.
Reid Schar will be legal counsel for Assembly committee probing the GWB lane closure scandal.

By Keith Brown

The State Assembly committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures has hired the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Assembly Democrats announced Wednesday.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, of the New York-based law firm of Jenner & Block, has been tapped to be the investigatory committee’s legal counsel as it probes the September lane closures that gridlocked the town of Fort Lee for days, according to a release.

Schar was the lead investigator and prosecutor in Blagojevich’s corruption trials. The former Illinois governor is serving a 14-year federal sentence for corruption after he was found guilty of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including the 2008 vacant U.S. Senate seat of then-President-Elect Barack Obama, while he was governor.

“It’s vital to have someone of the caliber of Mr. Schar joining us in this effort,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), said in the release. “A potential misuse of taxpayer resources for political purposes is a serious matter that requires an astute legal eye with experience in this realm to help guide the process.”

The Assembly is scheduled to vote on AR10 to form the Select Committee on Investigation to probe the scandal on Thursday.

The measure is sponsored by Prieto, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and John Wisniewski, transportation committee head who has led the investigation that has lead to Gov. Chris Christie's inner circle. 

Wisniewski, who has been named the head of the committee, has said the committee could issue subpoenas for Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly -- whom Christie fired last week -- and the governor's two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien as early as Thursday afternoon.

common sense January 15, 2014 at 05:04 PM
Good choice. It would have been difficult to get a NJ attorney to do the needed job. Question? Where is Cuomo during all of this? Not a word. I wonder??
jp1 January 15, 2014 at 05:24 PM
Cuomo was not running for office.
patrick robinson January 15, 2014 at 05:44 PM
Take a look at this link, http://littlesis.org/org/19917/Jenner_%26_Block_LLP/political This law firm is a major Democratic Party contributor. What's the projected cost to NJ tax payers of having this DC-NY law firm advising the majority Democratic committee on this investigation? Is the objective essentially political to discredit Christie at tax payer expense?
Adam January 15, 2014 at 05:59 PM
I have to assume the cost is significantly less than the $12 million that NJ taxpayers got shafted by Christie setting a special Senate election 3 weeks earlier than the Governors race so he could suppress Democratic turnout. Probably cheaper still than the $2 million more for the Jersey Strong ads that featured Christie and his family (during the election) than the less expensive ad that did not feature his smiling face.
common sense January 15, 2014 at 06:12 PM
Patrick...Schar prosecuted Blago, the dem Gov of Ill. and had him put away for 14 years. I feel he can be trusted. Adam...that 'special election' cost us $24 million. jp1...I mean where has Cuomo been since all this hit the fan?
Adam January 15, 2014 at 06:34 PM
Actually $12 million. The other $12 million was for the Governor election, which would have been paid for regardless. (Can't count the primary as a waste of taxpayer $$, as that had to take place.)
Cardinal January 15, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Cuomo can sit back and be entertained, it was Christie's personal staff pulling off this thoughtless shenanigan not Cuomo's, Cuomo's New York guy actually finally opened the lanes and came to the rescue of Christie's New Jerseyans while Christie's staff protested because they even wanted the traffic jam to continue beyond 4 days!!!
c January 15, 2014 at 08:33 PM
A third grader could have convicted Blago. This is more waste of taxpayer money, but if Dems do it that's OK, right? Dems are shooting themselves in the foot on this one. Ha! Ha!
patrick robinson January 15, 2014 at 10:26 PM
I am a regualr GOP voter, but i did not vote for Christie due to the $24 million wasted on the US Senate primary and the October Senate race. A total waste of tax payer dollars for what appears to be a political advantage for Christie [i.e., no Booker on the ballot in Nov]. He could have appointed a reliable GOP senator and had him in office until Nov 2014 at great benefit to the GOP and no cost to the taxpayers...and this DC law firm brought in on the GWB lane closure debacle will waste more $
Shif January 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM
@ Maruca have you seen the poles lately. You and your liberal friends are failing!
Adam January 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Ha! Shif, its not the liberals who are watching this gleefully; rather it is the conservative arm of the Republican party (ya know, the ones that run the primariles and who HATE Christie) who are smiling.

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