(CNN) – The New Jersey General Assembly, which is investigating the George Washington Bridge controversy, on Wednesday named the same prosecutor that went after former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich as its own special counsel for a committee that will lead the bridge probe.
Assembly Democrats announced former Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar will help the Assembly Investigatory Committee as it further reviews the closure of access lanes to the nation's busiest bridge for four days last fall in an alleged act of political retribution by top aides to Gov. Chris Christie.
According to a release from Assembly Democrats, Schar is a partner at a law firm and specializes in white collar defense and investigations practice.
The newly created Assembly committee, which kicks into gear Thursday, will have subpoena powers. Previously, the Transportation committee was leading the investigation, but the new committee will take the reins.
Democratic assemblyman John Wisniewski, who chaired the Transportation committee, will also chair the new panel.
The state Senate has their own separate special committee that's also investigating the controversy.
Previously Schar was at the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he served as the lead investigator and prosecutor in both corruption trials of Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who's now in federal prison.
"It's vital to have someone of the caliber of Mr. Schar joining us in this effort," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said in a release announcing the appointment.
CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King reported earlier Wednesday that the first subpoenas are already planned. The committee will review the documents first, then hear testimony from witnesses. Christie's senior office and political staff, as well as his political team, are on the list the committee will consider.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, is also looking into the bridge matter.
Newly released documents suggested last week that Christie's top aides orchestrated the closing of the access lanes in an alleged act of political payback against the Fort Lee mayor, who declined to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
In a nearly two-hour press conference on Thursday, Christie announced he fired two of his top aides and forcefully denied that he was involved in or had any knowledge of the plot.
In his State of the State speech on Tuesday, Christie again addressed the bridge scandal, saying "mistakes were clearly made" but pledged his office would fully cooperate with the investigations.