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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The federal prosecutor who helped convict former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is being asked to investigate the apparent political payback scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration.
 
The New Jersey Assembly tapped former assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, who helped convict Blagojevich of corruption, as special counsel Wednesday.
 
The special counsel will advise a legislative committee investigating a plot that shut down lanes to the George Washington Bridge for four days in September.
 
The shutdown caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee. The plot apparently was hatched as a political vendetta, possibly against the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the Republican governor's re-election.
 
Four members of Christie's circle have been fired or resigned.
 
Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has apologized.
Published in National News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Lawyers for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have appealed his corruption convictions and 14-year sentence.

   Monday's filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes more than two years after the Chicago Democrat's retrial and 16 months after he entered a Colorado prison.

   Jurors convicted the 56 year old for wide-ranging corruption, including his bid to profit from his power to appoint someone to the state senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

 

   His lawyers filed the appeal less than an hour before a midnight deadline to do so.

 

   In June, defense attorneys citing the complicated issues involved received permission to file a longer-than-usual appeal.

 
Published in Local News

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