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Wolff & Samson Has Multiple Inside Tracks with the Christie Administration

Here Are More Examples That Have Not Yet Been Reported

The media is doing a pretty good job of exposing how the law firm Wolff & Samson (W&S) has used its close relationships with the Christie Administration to benefit the firm’s clients and generate millions of dollars in revenues for the firm.

That critical coverage has focused on W&S lawyers David Samson and Lori Grifa (repeat: we broke Grifa’s involvement in our HUD IG complaint).

Today’s Huffington Post story adds a few more examples to the growing list, see:  Wolff & Samson, Firm At Heart Of Christie Controversy, Has Had An Ally In The Governor

So, I won’t beat a dead horse here, but I do want to note a few big examples of W&S influence that have been overlooked and should be reported.

Yesterday, hopefully opening the DEP Piñata, the NY Times was the first to report on how DEP was being used in the Hoboken scandal (see:  Secret Meeting and Emails Show DEP Was Pushing Mayor on Rockefeller Development In Hoboken Scandal

So, I thought I might bullet a few more controversial DEP projects that our friends at W&S are working with the Christie Administration on.

In addition to Mr. Samson and Ms. Grifa, there are other W&S lawyers that lobby on key environmental projects, specifically Dennis Toft  (a heavy hitter) and John Valeri (a revolving door man).

According to ELEC records, W&S lawyers Toft & Valeri represent the following major clients with significantly controversial environmental projects:

1. Liberty Natural Gas, LLC – “Port Ambrose”

A few months ago, I wrote about Gov. Christie’s curious silence on a controversial proposal to construct an off shore LNG facility know as “Port Ambrose”, see: Why Is Gov. Christie Silent On Off Shore LNG?

Gov. Christie’s silence seems inexplicable.

Could it be the result of not only the national political aspirations I noted, but also the lobbying of Wolff & SAmson?

2. Rockland Capital – “BL England” and the Pinelands Pipeline

W&S lawyers represent Rockland Capital – they own the BL England power plant.

The recent rejection of the South Jersey Gas Co. proposed pipeline to the BL England plant was a stinging defeat for W&S and Gov. Christie, who strongly backed the project.


W&S represents PSEG.

ELEC records noted efforts to lobby DEP, the Highlands Council, and the State Agricultural Development Board regarding environmental permitting, land conveyance by the State House Commission, and related regulatory issues for power line right of way in a Wildlife Management Area, state lands, and the protected Highlands.

Perhaps some enterprising journalist could file OPRA requests or make a few phone calls to find out what’s going on with those projects and permits.

4) WalMart

W&S is reported to represent WalMart.

I’ve been trying to determine if that includes the proposed WalMart in Toms River.

In that case, both the Corzine DEP and the Christie DEP rejected CAFRA permits for the project.

But Governor Christie got personally involved in support of the project see: DEP again nixes Walmart plan, but Christie wants it approved .

Subsequent to the Gov.’s personal intervention in support of the project,  DEP  issued a Settlement Agreement and issued permits approving the project.

Was that reversal the result of W&S influence? Or just the Gov.’s arm twisting?

Either way, it stinks.

Calling all those intrepid reporters out there working on the scandal – lots of stories here!.

[Update: My friend Scott Olson reminds me that WalMart is funding the greenscam by Sustainable NJ, which curiously also involves the South Jersey Gas Co  and the Christie BPU – how on earth could I forget that! See:  Doubling Down on WalMart – Ethical Free Falling

[End note: if multiple prior episodes serve as a guide, my guess is that these stories will get reported, but the journalists and their sources will not provide attribution here. Pimp my ride!]

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