Gov. Christie kept close ties with two brothers from an “active Livingston family” whose ascending careers within the Port Authority Police Department and New Jersey’s private lobbying sector have raised questions amongst the governor’s critics.
The story, published Sunday in The Bergen Record, links Chip and Jeff Michaels’ professional advances with “Christie and [ex-Port Authority Executive David] Wildstein’s ascension to power.”
Chip and Jeff Michaels brothers graduated from Livingston High School at around the same time as Chris Christie—1987, 1982 and 1980, respectively.
Chip Michaels joined Port Authority police in 1998 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2006 and then to lieutenant in 2011.
Chip was identified in February as the Port Authority cop who provided a tour of the George Washington Bridge backups to Wildstein in September 2013.
Jeff Michaels served as a campaign and policy adviser for Christie beginning in 2009. The following year he started a modestly successful lobbying firm—Optimus Partners—which has steadily risen to become “one of the state’s top grossing” firms.
Jeff’s lobbying firm “has made much of its money from clients with large stakes in Christie’s policies,” the newspaper reported.
As alleged links and relationships emerge, the Sunday story asserted, “some of the governor’s critics have started to wonder whether his loyalty is also a matter of self-preservation.”
Chip Michaels hired an attorney to deal with federal inquiries, but neither the FBI nor U.S. Attorney’s Office had yet to contact the Port Authority police officer, northjersey.com reported Sunday.