The New York Times first reported Tuesday that the Manhattan district attorney's office and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into potential securities law violations over a repair project for a New Jersey skyway. At issue is whether the Christie administration requested funds from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- which were supposed to be used to fund a rail tunnel under the Hudson River -- to go toward fixing up the Pulaski Skyway three years ago, both the Times and NBC News reported. The Times noted that the skyway was outside the purview of the Port Authority, since it is operated by the state of New Jersey. As msnbc reported in January, Christie's cancellation of the Hudson tunnel project sparked controversy in the state. It also freed up $1.8 billion from the Port Authority, which was used to fix up the skyway and other roads in New Jersey.
The inquiries into securities law violations focus on a period of 2010 and 2011 when Gov. Chris Christie's administration pressed the Port Authority to pay for extensive repairs to the Skyway and related road projects, diverting money that was to be used on a new Hudson River rail tunnel that Mr. Christie canceled in October 2010. Again and again, Port Authority lawyers warned against the move: The Pulaski Skyway, they noted, is owned and operated by the state, putting it outside the agency's purview, according to dozens of memos and emails reviewed by investigators and obtained by The New York Times.