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Chatham Attorney Represents Ex-Official at 'Bridgegate' Hearing

David Wildstein, the former Port Authority executive who refused to answer questions Thursday, is represented by Alan Zegas.

David Wildstein speaks during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Wildstein, a former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie is refusing to answer questions from a legislative committee looking into the Bridgegate scandal.
David Wildstein speaks during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Wildstein, a former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie is refusing to answer questions from a legislative committee looking into the Bridgegate scandal.
David Wildstein, the former Port Authority executive who was charged with a misdemeanor Thursday for refusing to answer Assembly committee questions about the closure of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, is being represented by a Chatham-based attorney.

Wildstein was held in contempt after he refused to answer questions of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities committee.

Wildstein said he was asserting his right to remain silent on the advice of his attorney, Alan Zegas, whose practice is on Main Street in the borough.

Officials are investigating whether the lanes were closed to cause traffic problems as political retribution against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor.

Emails obtained by The New York Times and The Record show Gov. Chris Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff Brigette Kelly told Wildstein it was “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” about two weeks before the lanes were closed in early September.

“Got it,” Wildstein replied.

During the hearing Thursday, committee Chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski continued questioning Wildstein about specific email and text exchanges, including emails where Wildstein apparently refers to Fort Lee's mayor as "Serbia," and why he used his Gmail account.

Wildstein, who resigned last month as national media and incensed local politicians turned up the heat on the issue, refused to answer.

In text messages between Wildstein and an unknown individual revealed by The Record Wednesday, Wildstein references messages left by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich complaining about school buses stuck in traffic because of the lane closures.

“Is it wrong that I’m smiling,” the unknown person wrote to Wildstein.

“No,” Wildstein replied.

“I feel badly about the kids,” the person responded. “I guess.”

“They are the children of Buono voters,” Wildstein replied, referring to Democrat Barbara Buono, who easily was defeated by Christie in November's election.

According to Politico, Zegas told the panel he doesn't believe Wildstein is guilty of anything.

“We have sat by in the past several weeks and have heard allegations made against Mr. Wildstein that he has violated federal laws, violated state laws,” Zegas said, according to the website. “I’m not suggesting in any way, and I don’t believe, that Mr. Wildstein is guilty of anything, yet at the same time he has the right under both the federal and the state constitutions to not give answers that could be used by a prosecutor.”
CJV January 15, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Since this is New Jersey, you and I are paying the outrageous bill here, not Mr. Wildstein.

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