No Timetable for Bridgegate Probe [AUDIO]
Twenty subpoenas were issued by the panel, but several recipients have asked for extensions and an undisclosed number of those requests have been granted. None of the documents that have been received have been made public, and it is unclear when any information will be released.
"There's not going to be any public release of information as a result of the subpoenaed material being received by the legislature," said the panel's co-chair, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville). "The committee has to review it first. The act of receiving it is only the first step in dealing with this material."
Committee members have to look at the documents and make their own judgments before anything becomes public. That's not going to be anytime soon, according to Wisniewski.
He wouldn't hazard a guess as to when the next public hearing will be held.
"A number of individuals who are recipients of subpoenas, either directly or through counsel, have spoken with the committee's counsel and there have been ongoing discussions about flexibility in the submission of documents in response to the subpoenas," explained Wisniewski. "Co-chair (state Sen. Majority Leader) Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and I have instructed our counsel to make reasonable accommodations that do not frustrate the intent or purpose of the subpoenas."
The committee's probe could wrap up fairly quickly, Wisniewski said, if the documents answer important questions such as: Who is ultimately responsible for ordering the unannounced access lane closures at the George Washington Bridge?
The assemblyman said if the subpoenaed information doesn't answer those types of questions, the panel's investigation will continue for as long as it must.
Democrats and 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 Fort Lee lane closures in September. Those were apparently ordered in retaliation against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, who refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid.