A special committee was chosen to investigate the George Washington Bridge lane closures in September. Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, a committee member, told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Sen. Lauretta Weinberg are determined to keep Republicans away from where documents for the case are being received.
Handlin said that she is not happy with how the process has worked with the committee so far, but she does believe the committee has an important role to play because the public needs to know what transpired as quickly as possible.
She said that she does not have an opinion about what she thinks happened, and the committee has a serious obligation to be completely open minded as information comes in.
“Unfortunately, both from a process and perception perspective, the way the committee is structured is really about as bad as it can be. From a process perspective, the partisan imbalance of the committee means that I can’t even depend on being given access to all the material that comes in, in a timely manner. There is no justification for it and it impedes my ability to do the job that I have been assigned,” Handlin said.
Handlin said that Wisniewski and Weinberg are bound and determined to keep every single Republican out of the back room where all of the documents are received.
“I have not worked with Chairman Wisniewski. I have worked with Weinberg and have always found her to be a fair person and very serious about her duties. I can only hope that fairness and seriousness extends to this situation. But I shouldn’t be left just crossing my fingers and neither should the public,” Handlin said.
If the process doesn’t become more inclusive to Republicans, Handlin said there will be doubt cast on the findings.
“It’s very easy to eliminate those doubts by simply making the balance of Republicans and Democrats more even. It doesn’t even have to be 50/50, just an improvement over what it is now,” Handlin said.