TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey’s top law enforcement official won’t say whether he has launched a state investigation into a traffic jam scandal entangling his boss, Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman says it’s office policy not to comment on “the status or existence” of criminal investigations into last September’s George Washington Bridge lane closures.
In New Jersey, the attorney general is appointed by the governor.
As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, Hoffman also wouldn’t say whether his office was working with the U.S. Attorney’s office in its investigation into the case.
“When I was U.S. Attorney and also attorney general, we did cooperative types of things and it’s very possible that the U.S. Attorney’s office has said we want to take the lead in this,” said Robert Del Tufo, who was New Jersey’s AG from 1990 to 1993.
He said Hoffman is in a tough spot.
“He’s not the attorney general, he’s the acting attorney general,” said Del Tufo.
Del Tufo said he thinks the AG’s office should investigate the lane closures for possible state violations.
Christie nominated his chief of staff to succeed Hoffman, but that move has been delayed because of a political payback scheme by Christie aides.
A federal prosecutor and a state legislative panel are investigating the plot to close lanes near the George Washington Bridge to get back at a local mayor.
Some say state laws may have been broken; others question the Christie appointee’s ability to be impartial.
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