- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Democrats are merging legislative committees to investigate allegations that members of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s administration abused their government power.

State Assembly and Senate panels will be joined into one committee with subpoena power and special counsel Reid Schar, who helped convict former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of corruption.

The committee will be made up of eight Democrats and four Republicans.

The lawmakers are examining an apparently politically motivated decision to close approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September.

The joint panel was announced Tuesday, as Christie prepared to give his inaugural address.

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