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Ex-Port Authority Exec Buys Officials’ Web Domains

A former Port Authority official who allegedly ordered the mysterious lane closures at the George Washington Bridge has reportedly been buying Internet domain addresses that use the names of public officials.

 

Sean Gallup, Getty Images

The Record of Woodland Park says it’s not clear why David Wildstein made the purchases. He declined their request for comment, and a top political strategist for Gov. Chris Christie said neither he nor the governor were aware of Wildstein’s activities.

“This was done independently of the campaign and without any authorization,” Mike DuHaime said. “The governor had no knowledge either.”

Among the addresses that were purchased are ones that use the name of Pat Foye, the authority’s top executive; Barbara Buono, a Democratic state senator who lost to Christie in this year’s gubernatorial race, and her running mate, labor leader Milly Silva.

Those officials and others were unaware Wildstein reserved their Internet identities. Some were stunned to hear about the purchases.

“It’s amusing, but also creepy and strange,” Silva told the newspaper. “The notion that this person purchased domain names I might seek to use is troubling.”

Internet records show Wildstein has purchased at least 48 domains and has renewed some of them annually. Domain names typically cost less than $10 a year.

None of the domain names are redirected to sinister websites and most take users to the website of Wildstein’s favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees.

Wildstein served as the port authority’s director of interstate capital projects before he stepped down on Friday. He is a childhood friend of the governor, who had appointed him to the post.

Wildstein has been among several officials named in an escalating probe into whether Christie loyalists deliberately created traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge in early September in an act of political retribution. The governor has denied the lane closings at the bridge into New York City were politically motivated.

The town on the New Jersey side of the bridge is Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor did not endorse Christie in his re-election campaign last month. While Christie is a Republican, his campaign focused heavily on bipartisan support to bolster his image as a pragmatic executive who will work with his political opponents when he needs to.

MORE COVERAGE:

 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

 

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