Christie nominates former chief of staff to Port Authority board

Gov. Chris Christie has nominated former Chief of Staff Rich Bagger to serve on the Board of Commissioners of  the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Bagger, who left Christie’s staff in December, would replace Virginia Bauer, who was appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine.  Her term expires on July 1. 

The appointment of Bagger, who currently works as a Senior Vice President at Celgene Corp., puts another strong ally of the governor on the board at a time when the sprawling bi-state agency has come under fire from Democrats who say it is a patronage mill with little accountability over its spending.

Former state Attorney General David Samson, a mentor and ally of the governor, serves as chairman of the board.

Bagger served terms in both the state Senate and Assembly and as Mayor of Westfield.  He resigned from the state Senate in 2003 and was replaced by Republican Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr.