We now know where a large chunk of the money from the increase in the gas tax will be going.
An order was released by the Securities and Exchange Commission soon after Governor Chris Christie’s state of the State speech yesterday announcing that:
In anticipation of the institution of these proceedings, Respondent has submitted an Offer of Settlement that the Commission has determined to accept. Respondent admits the facts set forth in Sections III. A, B., C., and D. below, acknowledges that its conduct violated the federal securities laws, admits the Commission’s jurisdiction over it and the subject matter of these proceedings, and consents to the entry of this Order Instituting Cease-and-Desist Proceedings Pursuant to Section 8A of the Securities Act of 1933, Making Findings, and Imposing a Cease-and-Desist Order (“Order”), as set forth below.
Months before Gov. Chris Christie cited cost overruns as the reason he canceled a Hudson River tunnel project, his allies were scheming how to divert nearly $2 billion – much of it raised from travelers in the region — to repair New Jersey roads, a government probe has found.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday a $400,000 settlement of its probe into why the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spent $1.8 billion to repair New Jersey roads such as the Pulaski Skyway. That money had originally been set aside for the tunnel project.
In securing a rare admission of wrongdoing as well as its second-largest penalty against a municipal agency, the regulator delivered a sharp blow to Christie and his allies at the Port Authority and at the state Department of Transportation who directed the spending during Christie’s first term.
The settlement exposed private meetings and communications in which unnamed Christie allies planned how to fund road repairs by diverting almost $2 billion from a project to dig a trans-Hudson rail tunnel.
The discussions took place several months before Christie officially canceled the project, known as Access to the Region’s Core, or ARC.
The settlement also detailed how Christie’s allies planned to overcome the legally questionable decision to label the Pulaski Skyway and other roads as “access roads to the Lincoln Tunnel” — and to then push that decision past the Port Authority’s board of commissioners. The scheme was first uncovered by The Record in March 2014.
At the time Christie canceled ARC, in October 2010, he said he was doing so over mounting fears of cost overruns.
“He wasn’t worried about cost overruns,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who chairs New Jersey’s Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee and who is running for governor this year. “He was worried about how he was going to fund these other projects, and that was why he canceled the ARC tunnel.”