Sweeney-Weinberg resolution authorizes bi-partisan panel with subpoena power to pursue all aspects of the case
The Senate on Thursday acted to fully investigate all aspects of the George Washington Bridge lane closings when it approved legislation, SR-1, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, authorizing the creation of the Senate Select Committee on Investigation. The seven-member, bipartisan panel will have subpoena power.
“The investigation will be deliberative, thoughtful and thorough,” said Senator Sweeney. “It will pursue all aspects of this case and go wherever the evidence takes it. We want to get the full story and we want the truth about what happened and who was involved.”
Senator Weinberg, who represents Fort Lee, the community that was nearly paralyzed when the access lanes were suddenly and inexplicably closed, will head the committee.
“Unanswered questions have multiplied as this case has unfolded over the past four months,” said Senator Weinberg, who first challenged the Port Authority for an explanation in September and continued to press for answers for four months. “We will conduct an aggressive investigation with an open mind. We won’t jump to any conclusions but we intend to get to the bottom of this.”
The resolution was unanimously approved by the Senate 33 – 0.
Senator Weinberg, who worked cooperatively with Assemblyman John Wisniewski on the early hearings by the Assembly Transportation Committee, said the two legislative panels now investigating the case will coordinate their efforts in order to maximize the effectiveness of the investigation.
The Senate Select Committee on Investigation includes:
- Chairwoman – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen);
- Vice Chairman – Senator Nicholas P. Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union);
- Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex/Passaic);
- Senator Linda R. Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex);
- Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen/Passaic);
- Senator Kevin J. O’Toole (R-Bergen/Essex/Morris/Passaic);
- Senator Michael J. Doherty (R-Hunterdon/Somerset/Warren).
A special counsel will be appointed to aid the committee.