FORT LEE ‑ Several weeks after federal investigators expanded its probe into the George Washington Bridge lane closures by interviewing the borough’s councilmembers, the elected officials on Thursday approved another $15,000 for a special counsel, bringing that attorney’s overall contract amount to $125,000.
Fort Lee’s tab for legal services related to the lane closures now tops $225,000, including expenses the municipality has incurred for services by its regular borough attorney.
Related: The GWB Files [interactive]
The council last year also paid $10,000 to its then-borough clerk for overtime hours he spent responding to more than 100 public-records requests and related matters.
Councilman Armand Pohan said Friday that how much the borough spends is beyond its control.
“How long can they keep on investigating? I have no idea,” he said. “They may want to re-talk to people. … The U.S. Attorney will dictate how much the borough is going to have to spend to provide counsel.”
The council retained Tim Donohue of the West Orange firm Arleo, Donohue & Biancamano, LLC, as special counsel to handle queries from investigators shortly after an email linked a then-aide of Governor Christie and one of his associates at the Port Authority to a decision to shut down access lanes to the world’s busiest bridge. The crossing is operated by the authority.