Investigators looking into the George Washington Bridge lane closings last year are considering charges based on a seldom-used provision of a fraud statute, which would make the closings a federal crime. The statute, Section 666 of Title 18 of the United States Code, may be used against members of a government agency that receives more than $10,000 of federal money a year. That includes the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Port Authority officials authorized the lane closures after a deputy chief of staff for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie asked an associate at the Port Authority for “some traffic problems at Fort Lee.” That town’s mayor, Mark Sokolich, accused the Christie administration of orchestrating the gridlock as punishment for declining to endorse the governor for re-election.
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