Gov. Chris Christie has nominated former Chief of Staff Rich Bagger to serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Bagger, who left Christie's staff in December, would replace Virginia Bauer, who was appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine. Her term expires on July 1.
The appointment of Bagger, who currently works as a Senior Vice President at Celgene Corp., puts another strong ally of the governor on the board at a time when the sprawling bi-state agency has come under fire from Democrats who say it is a patronage mill with little accountability over its spending.
Former state Attorney General David Samson, a mentor and ally of the governor, serves as chairman of the board.
Bagger served terms in both the state Senate and Assembly and as Mayor of Westfield. He resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and was replaced by Republican Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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