Bryan S. shared this piece about federal prosecutors investigating United Airlines operating twice-weekly Newark – Columbia, South Carolina service for the possible private benefit of the David Samson, who served as Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey between 2011 and 2014.
The United flight, convenient to Samson’s weekend home, offered service departing Thursday evening and returned to Newark Monday morning. Samson is said to have referred to this service as “the Chairman’s flight.” It was a money loser. The service was cancelled three days after Samson stepped down from the Port Authority.
Federal prosecutors have demanded that the Port Authority turn over records related to the personal travel of the agency’s former chairman, David Samson, as well as his relationship with Newark Liberty International Airport’s largest carrier, United Airlines, according to multiple sources, a development that opens yet another line of inquiry in what has become a sprawling criminal investigation.
…Besides Samson’s personal travel records, the subpoena also demands information about votes Samson took while chairman and any communications he had with United and its former lobbyist, Jamie Fox, a close friend of Samson’s who has since become Governor Christie’s transportation commissioner.
United declined to comment beyond issuing a statement that it, too, had received a subpoena.
Samson, of course, was caught up in the New Jersey toll lane closure scandal. And he’s been accused of improperly participating in the awarding of contracts to clients of his law firm.
And United previously offered money-losing service between Atlantic City and Chicago and Houston in a purported quid pro quo for Governor Christie’s support of taxpayer funds for transportation to and from United’s Newark hub.
There are only allegations and an investigation at this point, but they seemed worth noting lest anyone think that Delta had a lock on crony capitalism in US aviation.