Chris Christies shadow continues to loom across New Jersey as the states share of the George Washington Bridge scandal that plagued the former governor climbed above the $15 million mark.
The new total reflects billing by a data forensics firm, Stroz Friedberg, that topped $4 million, including $700,000 last year and $60,000 this year, according to The Associated Press.
The cost could increase because the digital records must be retained during an appeal, the report said.
The state had already paid $9.1 to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, a law firm that produced a report clearing Christie of any connection to a political payback scheme that closed lanes to the George Washington Bridge and created a traffic nightmare in September 2013.
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Taxpayers also footed the $2.1 million bill to law firm King & Spalding, which employed Christie’s former personal attorney Chris Wray. Wray is now director of the FBI.
That tab does not include the more than $1 million spent by the Democratic-led legislature to investigate.
Federal prosecutors also spent money to investigate.
It’s an exorbitant expense for something that we never quite got the whole story, said New Jerseys Democratic Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.
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The state also paid about $13,000 to the firm of Alston & Bird in 2017 to represent Christie during a citizen’s complaint over the bridge closing.
Christie was represented in the case by Craig Carpenito, who currently serves as the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director at the Port Authority, were convicted in 2016 of carrying out the plot.
They are appealing their convictions in federal court.