On March 6, 2017, David Samson, the former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was sentenced to one year of home confinement for having used his official authority to pressure United Airlines Inc.’s parent company to institute a non-stop flight from Newark, New Jersey to South Carolina for his personal benefit.  Samson had also served as the New Jersey Attorney General from 2002 to 2003.  The Port Authority operates Newark Liberty International Airport, one of United Airlines’ largest hubs.  According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, in September 2011, Samson met with representatives of United Continental Holdings Inc. (“United”), United Airlines Inc.’s parent company, and Jamie Fox, a paid consultant and lobbyist for United, for dinner in New York.  At that dinner, Samson told United representatives that Continental Airlines Inc., a predecessor of United, used to have a non-stop flight between Newark Airport and Columbia Airport, which made it more convenient for Samson to travel to his home in South Carolina.  United subsequently concluded that reinstating the Newark / Columbia route would not be profitable, but Samson and Fox used Samson’s official position to pressure United to reinstate the route.  In particular, Samson and Fox were aware that an agreement between United and the Port Authority related to United’s construction of a maintenance hangar at Newark was scheduled to be presented at a November 5, 2011 Port Authority Board meeting.  Samson and Fox used Samson’s control over the board’s agenda to pressure United.  As a result, United decided to reinstate the Newark / Columbia route, which operated from September 2012 through March 2014.  Samson used the route on 27 occasions between October 2012 and January 2014.  United States v. Samson, 2:16-cr-00334 (D.N.J.). DOJ Press Release

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