PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A judge has signed a summons against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the case now heads to a prosecutor’s office which will decide whether it will lead to an indictment. Linda Dale Hoffa, an attorney with Dilworth Paxson LLP, weighs in on the Bridgegate case.
Jim Donovan: So Linda, you’ve been a federal and state prosecutor. This complaint was filed by a retired firefighter named Bill Brennan, what is he alleging in the complaint?
Linda Dale Hoffa: What he is alleging is a violation of New Jersey state law, a felony, that is official misconduct. And that statute says a public servant can be guilty of official misconduct if either for benefit for themselves or intending to deprive another person of a benefit. What the official does is refrain from performing a non-discretionary duty and what’s charged here is that the Governor did not order subordinates to reopen those lanes on the bridge.
Jim Donovan: So now the judge has ruled that there’s enough probable exists in this case to move forward so what happens now?
Linda Dale Hoffa: Well now it’s going to be referred over to the Bergen County Prospectus’s Office and hey’ll conduct an investigation and make a determination whether or not there’s sufficient information and evidence to go forward and bring charges to present the matter to a grand jury.
Jim Donovan: Right now the acting prosecutor in Bergen County was appointed by Gov. Christie in January — he’s awaiting confirmation by the state senate at this point. Does he choose whether to pursue this or does he hand this over to someone else?
Linda Dale Hoffa: That will be his decision as to whether or not he thinks he has a conflict because he’s been appointed by the very person he is being asked to investigate. So it is likely that he may recuse himself and then give this matter over to someone else in his office who is a career prosecutor and not a political appointee.