By Keith Brown
The State Assembly committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures has hired the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Assembly Democrats announced Wednesday.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, of the New York-based law firm of Jenner & Block, has been tapped to be the investigatory committee’s legal counsel as it probes the September lane closures that gridlocked the town of Fort Lee for days, according to a release.
Schar was the lead investigator and prosecutor in Blagojevich’s corruption trials. The former Illinois governor is serving a 14-year federal sentence for corruption after he was found guilty of soliciting bribes for political appointments, including the 2008 vacant U.S. Senate seat of then-President-Elect Barack Obama, while he was governor.
“It’s vital to have someone of the caliber of Mr. Schar joining us in this effort,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen), said in the release. “A potential misuse of taxpayer resources for political purposes is a serious matter that requires an astute legal eye with experience in this realm to help guide the process.”
The Assembly is scheduled to vote on AR10 to form the Select Committee on Investigation to probe the scandal on Thursday.
The measure is sponsored by Prieto, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and John Wisniewski, transportation committee head who has led the investigation that has lead to Gov. Chris Christie's inner circle.
Wisniewski, who has been named the head of the committee, has said the committee could issue subpoenas for Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly -- whom Christie fired last week -- and the governor's two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien as early as Thursday afternoon.