TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey state lawmakers have launched an investigation into allegations that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tried to tie up Holland Tunnel traffic top cause problems for the Port Authority.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the lawmakers include state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), the chair of the committee looking into the Bridgegate scandal.
They have asked state Attorney General John Hoffman to review the accusation and see if an investigation is warranted.
Jersey City police Chief Robert Cowan said Fulop wanted him to pull over drivers near the Jersey City side of the Holland Tunnel “without sufficient reasons” so as to create traffic jams on the New York City side of the tunnel, according to a Star-Ledger report.
Cowan said he refused.
He leveled the accusation after Fulop announced he was demoting him.
In a statement, Fulop denied ordering a traffic safety stop, and said, “This is nothing more than a disgruntled demoted employee and Trenton politics at work,” the newspaper reported.”
Fulop’s office released a lengthy statement on the allegations, saying there was a traffic safety stop campaign around Jersey City in February, and safety checks have been happening in Jersey City for 20 years. Fulop’s said Cowan never suggested at the time that any safety stops were improper.
Fulop’s office also said Cowan was removed as police chief because of complaints against Cowan, claiming he used his authority to punish police officers with whom he had personal disagreements.
Fulop’s statement also said criticized an NJ.com report about the Holland Tunnel allegations, claiming they made it look like Fulop had been involved in something similar to Bridgegate – in which traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee were shut down for politically-motivated reasons.
“Jersey City’s traffic safety campaign involving multiple locations throughout the city has nothing to do with the ‘Bridgegate’ investigation,” Fulop’s office said.
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