NJ Gov. Christie on the Hook for $271 Million

New Jersey owes the Feds $271 million for canceling the infamous, $9 billion Hudson River rail tunnel. The state was ordered to pay up in not-so-subtle terms by DOT Secretary LaHood.
April 30, 2011, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Just as Gov. Christie claimed that he canceled the Access to the Region's Core tunnel to protect his constituents from perceived cost over-runs, LaHood claims to be acting in the "federal taxpayers' interests" by recouping their money. A total of $600 million had been spent before Christie put an end to the project on Oct. 26, 2011

"On (April 29), the Transportation Department flatly rejected the state's arguments for refusing to repay $271 million that was spent on a project... to build a pair of rail tunnels under the Hudson River. The message to Gov. Chris Christie was blunt: Repay now or we will collect the debt the hard way. Plus interest."

"In a letter to New Jersey's senators and representatives in Congress, Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, warned that his department had "many tools under the Debt Collection Act to recoup the lost federal taxpayer funds, including withholding future state funding from a wide variety of sources."

The state's arguments - submitted by a Washington law firm, cost the state and NJ Transit $800,000 to prepare. No word yet from Gov. Christie.

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

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Published on Saturday, April 30, 2011 in The New York Times - N.Y. / Region
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