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Ex-Port Authority Chief Pleads Guilty In 'Personal United Flight' Case

David Samson
David Samson Photo Credit: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

David Samson, the former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, admitted in federal court in Newark on Thursday he used his official authority to pressure the parent company of United Airlines Inc. to institute a non-stop flight from Newark to South Carolina for his personal benefit.

Former New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, who at the time was a paid consultant and lobbyist for United Continental Holdings Inc. (United), the Chicago-based parent company of United Airlines Inc., was charged in a separate criminal complaint with conspiring to commit bribery.

United operated the route between Newark Liberty International Airport and Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina solely because Samson wanted it to travel to his house in South Carolina.

The airline entered into an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to cooperate, to institute substantial reforms to its compliance program, and to pay a $2.25 million penalty.

Samson pleaded guilty to bribery in U.S. District Court.

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