The federal case against David Samson, the former chairman of the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, rested on the premise that United Airlines restored a flight to its regular schedule for his personal convenience.
"On multiple occasions, Fox communicated to United that its failure to reinstate the route had made Samson angry and was having a negative impact on United's relationship with the Port Authority".
The inspector general of the PA will attend the news conference, according to the prosecutor's office.
This is a developing story. Fox's attorney says he will fight the charge.
"Following through on this exchange with Fox, Samson caused the hangar agreement to be removed from the Port Authority's agenda", says USAO.
The US Attorney's Office (USAO) for the District of New Jersey cites the carrier's "extensive" cooperation and its acceptance of responsibility as factors behind why it chose to not pursue further action against the carrier. Under terms of his plea agreement, he faces as little as two years of probation and as much as two years in prison. Copping to a felony count of bribery today, Samson admitted in court that he had used United's plans for a larger hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport as leverage for his travel convenience.
The airline probe emerged from an investigation into the George Washington Bridge traffic jam that top Christie aides were accused of engineering to punish a local politician.
"Jamie Fox has devoted his entire professional life to serving the citizens of New Jersey and his private clients honorably", Critchely said, adding "he would never jeopardize his reputation" by engaging in the alleged criminal conduct.
The airline eventually agreed to reinstate the flight, which Samson had dubbed "the chairman's flight", and he used it on 27 occasions between October 2012 and January 2014, he said.
After Christie was elected governor in 2009, he appointed Samson to oversee the multibillion-dollar assortment of roads, railways and airports that fall under the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey. The former New Jersey attorney general is a longtime close adviser to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and served as chairman of the governor's transition team when Christie first took office. Referred to, according to the DOJ, as "the chairman's flight" by Samson and others, Samson used it 27 times between October 2012 and January 2014 to travel from his work to his home in SC.
"In advance of the board's next meeting, on December 8, 2011, Samson and Fox continued to use Samson's official authority to pressure United".
Service stopped four days after Samson's April 2014 resignation.
"Next you'll hear from us is at the sentencing", his attorney, Michael Chertoff, told the website. Samson left the courthouse after posting $100,000 bond and surrendering his passport. United flew half-empty flights between New Jersey and SC, where Samson had a vacation home.
Samson and Fox kept pressuring United, and when Samson put the agreement back on the agenda at a later meeting and got approval, Fox emailed Samson, "Finally have their (United's) attention". But an email from a Port Authority official to a Christie aide, both of whom were later charged, described Samson "helping to retaliate" after Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye ordered the lanes reopened.
About a month later, emails show that Fox, who had discussed the SC flight with United, told Samson to put the hangar project back on the agenda. "The governor is either a bad judge of character when it comes to making high level appointments or is not as forthcoming as he'd like us to believe".