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A former close political ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged a judge to spare him prison for pleading guilty to pressuring United Airlines to fly a money-losing route convenient to his family’s weekend home. David Samson, once chairman...

'Chairman's flight' recipient asks to be spared prison in bribery case

A former close political ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged a judge to spare him prison for pleading guilty to pressuring United Airlines to fly a money-losing route convenient to his family’s weekend home. David Samson, once chairman...

'Chairman's flight' recipient asks to be spared prison in bribery case

A former close political ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged a judge to spare him prison for pleading guilty to pressuring United Airlines to fly a money-losing route convenient to his family’s weekend home.

David Samson, once chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, faces as many as two years in prison, but should get probation for the scandal dubbed “the chairman’s flight,” his lawyers wrote to a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey.

Samson, 77, received “an extremely narrow benefit” and was “not corrupted” by United reinstating a twice-weekly route from Newark to South Carolina, his lawyers said. Jeff Smisek, the former Chief Executive Officer of United Continental Holdings Inc., was ousted after Samson’s plea last July, and the airline paid more than $4.6 million in penalties to U.S. authorities.

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Defense lawyers submitted four dozen letters in support of Samson, including from former Governor James McGreevey and several ex-attorneys general. The lawyers also argued that Samson’s “precarious” physical and mental condition support their plea for leniency when he is sentenced on March 6.

A former close political ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged a judge to spare him prison for pleading guilty to pressuring United Airlines to fly a money-losing route convenient to his family’s weekend home.

David Samson, once chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, faces as many as two years in prison, but should get probation for the scandal dubbed “the chairman’s flight,” his lawyers wrote to a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey.

Samson, 77, received “an extremely narrow benefit” and was “not corrupted” by United reinstating a twice-weekly route from Newark to South Carolina, his lawyers said. Jeff Smisek, the former Chief Executive Officer of United Continental Holdings Inc., was ousted after Samson’s plea last July, and the airline paid more than $4.6 million in penalties to U.S. authorities.

Defense lawyers submitted four dozen letters in support of Samson, including from former Governor James McGreevey and several ex-attorneys general. The lawyers also argued that Samson’s “precarious” physical and mental condition support their plea for leniency when he is sentenced on March 6.

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