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News and Notes: Lawyer linked to Bridgegate hired by Princeton firm

Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey deputy executive director Bill Baroni began a new job on Monday as legal counsel for the Hill Wallack LLP law firm in Princeton, the Hamilton Observer reported.

Baroni had resigned from his job at the Port Authority following his involvement in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, when the Port Authority allegedly caused traffic jams by closing two of the three access lanes connecting the George Washington Bridge to Fort Lee, N.J. The move was seen by some as political retribution against Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie for reelection.

Christie, who claimed to have had no knowledge of the closures, announced Baroni’s resignation on Dec. 13 but said the process of Baroni’s departure from the Port Authority had begun months before Bridgegate.

Despite the scandal, the firm asked Baroni to join because of his extensive experience in business, finance, education and nonprofit work, managing partner Bob Basco said. He declined to comment on how the scandal had influenced the hiring decision.

The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation is currently investigating Baroni and other former Port Authority employees as a result of the Bridgegate scandal.

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