On Tuesday, April 6th at the Newark Municipal Courthouse, Democratic candidate for NJ Governor Bill Brennan filed a criminal complaint of official misconduct against David Samson, former chairman of the joint NJ-NY Port Authority during the Bridgegate scandal of 2013. Here is the text of the original handwritten complaint (which was expanded upon in the final printed version and is not yet publicly available):
With purpose to obtain a benefit for himself, defendant Samson did extort United Airlines by threatening to deny the company’s lawful access to construction of a new airplane hangar at Newark Airport.
For his exclusive convenience, Samson demanded that United Airlines create a non-stop route from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina–only fifty miles from his vacation home. The next closest airport was hundred miles away. If they did not provide the custom route, Samson threatened that the construction of a hangar, which the airline wanted at Newark International Airport would be denied. The hangar would potentially save the the airline hundreds of millions of dollars in the long term. The airline created the route despite determining it was unprofitable and, indeed, its planes were consistently only half-filled. Samson and others called the route the “chairman’s flight.”
Samson pleaded guilty to extortion and bribery in a federal court and was sentenced to house arrest in the same vacation home once served by his custom route (the route was terminated three days after Samson’s resignation).
Brennan asserts that “this is not justice” and, since the state of New Jersey has not pursued any charges (and Samson has thus far not cooperated with authorities), that this is a valid complaint with no double jeopardy. The very fact that Sampson pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court, Brennan argues, means that probable cause is obvious.
Newark municipal Judge Marvin Adames is presiding over the case, which ended unresolved and will continue at 1 PM on Thursday, April 6. Proceeding unusually quickly, the hearing started only an hour after the complaint was filed. Brennan apologized to the judge because he was unprepared and dressed casually.
Citizens’ Media TV was the only news organization permitted to film the hearing. The full video will be released soon.
By: Jeff Epstein
Edited by: Ben Szioli