Twenty subpoenas issued by the joint legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures are due on Monday. 

The New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge
The New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge (Andrew Burton, Getty Images)

One of the panel's co-chairs said a close look at how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey runs its operations is long overdue.

"Some have called the Port Authority the '51st state' because it has long acted as though no one there has to be accountable," said State Sen. Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck). "I've seen problems with a refusal to be accountable, problems with internal structure and problems with a lack of transparency."

Democrats and even some of Gov. Chris Christie's fellow Republicans have been in attack mode for weeks after emails surfaced showing members of the governor's inner circle appear to have orchestrated the Port Authority's closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September in retaliation against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid.  Christie himself said he had no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened.

A longtime critic of the Port Authority, Weinberg is among those calling for a Congressional review of the agency's organizational structure and operating procedures. Weinberg wants lawmakers to get to the bottom of the Bridgegate scandal, but she also wants her committee to put the Port Authority under a microscope.

"We also have to examine the root causes at the Authority that allowed this to happen and to address them," Weinberg said. "These problems are certainly not new. When they raised tolls they did it in a way that didn't include adequate input from the public."

Due to the volume of pages expected to be turned over, it's not clear when the Bridgegate documents will be released to the public.






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