For a state that lost hundreds of lives on Sept. 11, the gifts were emotionally resonant: pieces of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center. They were presented by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to 20 carefully chosen New Jersey mayors who sat atop a list of 100 whose endorsements Gov. Chris Christie hoped to win. At photo opportunities around the mangled pieces of steel, Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie's top staff appointee at the Port Authority, told audiences how many people wanted a similar remnant of the destroyed buildings, and how special these mayors were.
The Port Authority had long been accused of patronage, something longtime agency employees said that the Christie administration had continued. The administration recommended dozens of people with close ties to the governor or his inner circle -- often without relevant experience -- for jobs at the agency. These hires included a gourmet food broker and longtime Republican donor, who was given a job as a financial analyst, and the co-author of Mr. Baroni's self-help book, ''Fat Kid Got Fit: And So Can You!'' -- who received a part-time job as publications editor that paid more than $50,000 per year.
Lawyers for a legislative committee and two former advisers to Gov. Chris Christie implicated in the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge tangled today over whether the pair had to turn over records subpoenaed by the panel. "This is not, has not been, and the subpoenas are not fishing expeditions of any sort," Reid Schar, a lawyer for the legislative committee, told Judge Mary Jacobson. But a lawyer for one of the former advisers argued that the committee's assertion that its subpoena was specific enough to identify documents it knew existed was "astonishing."