The Washington Post goes back to Chris Christie’s time as U.S. attorney to scrutinize a pattern of unusual law enforcement actions:
In Washington, Christie’s bosses were concerned about the appearance of several deals he struck with corporations that agreed to change their ways if they weren’t charged in cases involving financial irregularities. Typically, U.S. attorneys appoint independent monitors, who often receive millions of dollars in fees paid by the companies. Justice officials were uncomfortable about seven agreements Christie signed, because he had appointed political supporters as monitors in some of the cases.
One group of cases drew particular attention. Five orthopedic makers were found to have paid what prosecutors characterized as kickbacks to surgeons who used their devices. The monitors chosen to oversee each company were all seen as close to Christie, including former state attorney general, David Samson, whom Christie later appointed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Samson, who still works there as its chairman, has been subpoenaed by New Jersey lawmakers looking into the George Washington Bridge controversy.
No wrongdoing is alleged, but the Post notes the “Justice Department officials enacted rules placing limits on prosecutors’ discretion in reaching such deals.”