Or… “This is why you can’t investigate yourself.”
I know you’re as shocked as I am – deeply, deeply shocked – that the law firm hired personally by Governor Christie, which was loyal to Governor Christie, and which was paid for by public funds at Governor Christie’s order, has cleared Governor Christie of any wrong doing in the “BridgeGate” scandal.
Aren’t you as shocked as I am? I was so shocked.
As an employment rights attorney, this made me gnash my teeth. We deal, from time to time, with corporate and other defendants accused of civil rights or employment wrongs who hire “independent” lawyers to “investigate” the allegations of a victim. Someone accuses a corporation of discrimination, harassment or retaliation. The corporation goes out and hires an “independent” lawyer – paid for by the corporation – to investigate the corporation paying the lawyer’s bill.
These “independent” investigatory lawyers are, of course, fairly prickly when you accuse them of being biased and serving two masters. They, and those who depend on that sort of cash flow for their practices, in fact, get very defensive when anyone suggests that this practice is a joke – which it most certainly is.
“Independent” investigations are conducted by independent people. Any fifth grader knows that if he accuses another student of bullying, the school doesn’t hire the accused bully’s mom to “investigate” the bully. Likewise, if the “investigating” law firm is being paid by the subject matter of the investigation, there is no “independence;” I don’t care what the lawyer says.
No one was surprised that the law firm hired by Governor Christie cleared Governor Christie. The investigation was incomplete and one-sided? What a shock.
This is why you can’t investigate yourself. Maybe New Jersey should have had a fifth grader do the investigation.