Judgement day has come for David Samson, the former chairmen of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Back in July, Samson pleaded guilty to using his political influence to convince United Airlines to accommodate his private wishes for a regularly scheduled, non-stop flight to his South Carolina summer home. The round-trip flight from Newark to Columbia, S.C. operated on Thursday nights only, with a return flight Monday mornings. Of course, these flights were not offered on any other day of the week. During his court hearing, he admitted that he had dined with United Airlines officials in September 2011 and had “let it be known that the flight … made it more convenient” for him to get to his home in South Carolina. It was later acknowledged that the flight was called “the Chairman’s flight” and he took it about 27 times.
Samson, known as one of Gov. Chris Christie’s mentors, was sentenced to four years probation and home confinement (in that South Carolina home he was flying to), a slap on the wrist compared to the two years prison time he could have received. Samson will also be required to pay a $100K fine and perform 3,600 hours of community service. As per the AP, the judge said that Samson was “entitled to some credit for a lifetime of good work and public service.” The damage to his reputation “has a punitive aspect to it, which affects people like Mr. Samson very severely”.
“I know I violated the law and violated my own standards of right and wrong, I deeply apologize. First and foremost to this court, and I apologize to my family and friends and I apologize to the public to whom I owed much better.”