The Wire

Christie Slaps NJ Taxpayers with $1.1M Self-Exoneration Bill

Figures released yesterday confirm it: New Jersey taxpayers are footing a nearly $1.1 million bill for Chris Christie’s Bridgegate self-exoneration. What did they get for this hefty sum, which could have been put to better use funding any number of actual policy priorities? A whitewashed, discredited report that takes at face value Christie’s denials of knowing about the scandal. While Christie is fundraising out of state today, perhaps he should look at raising some money to pay back New Jerseyans forced to pay to clean up his image after his administration’s wrongdoing.

BACKGROUND:

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Billed The State Of New Jersey Nearly $1.1 Million For Christie’s Internal Review Of The Bridge Scandal. According to NJ.com, “The law firm that conducted the internal review of the George Washington Bridge scandal at the request of Gov. Chris Christie has billed the state nearly $1.1 million for work performed through January, figures released today show.” [NJ.com, 5/6/14]

The Bill Included $1,076,092 In Attorneys Fees And $1,693.20 For Photocopying, For A Total Of $1,077,785.20. According to NJ.com, “The $1,077,785.20 bill includes $1,076,092 in attorney’s fees and an additional $1,693.20 for photocopying.” [NJ.com, 5/6/14]

The Figure Represented Less Than One Month Of Work And Was Expected To Increase Substantially. According to NJ.com, “The bills cover the period from Jan. 12 to Jan. 31, which means the total cost is likely to swell far beyond $1.1 million. The law firm — Gibson Dunn & Crutcher — issued its final report in late March.” [NJ.com, 5/6/14]

38 Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Employees Billed A Total Of 3,121.2 Hours. According to NJ.com, “A total of 38 employees, including attorneys and paralegals, worked on the report, billing 3,121.2 hours.” [NJ.com, 5/6/14]

The Law Firm Charged $350 Per Hour For Each Attorney. According to NJ.com, “In a letter to Jeffrey Jacobson, who runs the state’s Division of Law, a Gibson Dunn attorney says the firm charged the state $350 per hour, far less than the $650 per hour rate initially agreed upon. In addition, the letter says the firm wrote off time for attorneys who billed only a small number of hours and those who billed more than a capped number of hours in a given day.” [NJ.com, 5/6/14]