Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar was named Wednesday as special counsel for the newly formed Assembly committee set to investigate the controversial September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.
Schar is currently a partner at national law firm Jenner & Block. He co-chairs the white collar defense and investigations practice for the firm.
As a former federal prosecutor in Illinois, Schar headed up the corruption trials against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
"It's vital to have someone of the caliber of Mr. Schar joining us in this effort," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus) said in a release. "A potential misuse of taxpayer resources for political purposes is a serious matter that requires an astute legal eye with experience in this realm to help guide the process."
Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate announced Monday that each house would be creating their own investigatory committees into the lane closures with subpoena power and access to special counsel.
Senate Democrats have not yet announced who will serve as special counsel for their committee.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), who will chair the Assembly's committee, touted Schar's experience in a statement, saying that it "will help build upon the progress we've made and help ensure that, in the end, we get the answers we need to find out what truly happened here so that we can institute safeguards to prevent future abuses."
"I am pleased to have been chosen as special counsel to assist the Select Committee on Investigation in its ongoing work," Schar said in the release. "Jenner & Block understands the importance of this investigation, and we will work diligently to support the members of the investigative committee on this matter."
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