Democratic Christie Hearings Cost Taxpayers $10M

TRENTON (AP) -

New Jersey taxpayers have spent more than $10 million on the Democratic panels looking into whether anyone in Gov. Chris Christie’s administration blocked the George Washington Bridge lane for political gain.

The updated total became known late Friday after the state released details for the first time on the $2.3 million paid over the past two years to digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg.

Two former Christie allies, Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, have pleaded not guilty to federal charges while former Port Authority official David Wildstein has pleaded guilty.

Christie, who ended his presidential campaign this month, has repeatedly denied any prior knowledge of the scheme, and a taxpayer-funded report absolved him of wrongdoing.

Leland Moore, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said the governor’s office is using Stroz Friedberg “because of the wide-ranging subpoenas it received from the Legislature and the United States Attorney’s Office and the many different systems and devices from which potentially responsive documents had to be gathered.”