Taxpayers on hook for Gov. Christie’s bills

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey taxpayers are on the hook for more than $6.5 million to the law firm Gov. Chris Christie hired to represent his office in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

The state attorney general’s office released recent bills from Gibson Dunn &Crutcher on Friday.

The law firm represents Christie’s office in the state and federal investigations into last September’s lane closures. It published a 350-page report in March that found Christie and his top staffers were not involved in the lane closures ordered by a former Christie aide, apparently as political retribution.

The report has been criticized by some as a whitewash.

Gibson Dunn earlier this year agreed to reduce its rate from the original agreement of $650 per hour to $350.

The attorney general’s office also released bills Friday from 10 law firms that have represented employees subpoenaed by federal or state authorities investigating the scandal.

The Record reported that taking into account Friday’s released bills, the total tab for taxpayers for Christie’s office, his staff and those working for the legislative committee investigating the lane-closing scandal is $7.87 million so far.

Gibson Dunn &Crutcher also billed nearly $3 million for representing the state in the second half of 2013 as Christie sought to overturn a federal ban on sports gambling in New Jersey, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The effort failed in the courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear New Jersey’s appeal this spring.

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