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Chris Christie Denies Knowledge of Lane Closures on George Washington Bridge
Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has denied his involvement in political payback that some of his top aides carried out in September against the city of Fort Lee, according to The Huffington Post. Christie said that the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge were “inappropriate and unsanctioned.”
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said in a statement. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”
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“One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions,” he added.
Emails were released earlier this week that implicate deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, in the plot. The plot was to intentionally cause traffic delays in Fort Lee, New Jersey because the town’s mayor, Democrat Mark Sokolich, was not going to back Christie in a re-election bid.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly wrote in an email on Aug. 13.
“Got it,” David Wildstein replied. Wildstein was a top official for Christie at the Port Authority at the time. He resigned last month.
On the first day of school in Fort Lee, September 9, two of the three lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed. The bridge is the busiest in the country. Traffic was backed up onto local roads in Fort Lee, causing major traffic issues and causing delays in emergency vehicle response times.
“I can only tell you what Sen. Baroni has said publicly and to everybody in this office, which is they believed the traffic study was necessary and that they ordered it, but the way they did it was mistaken and they didn’t follow protocols,” Christie said back in December.
Wildstein’s emails were subpoenaed by the New Jersey legislature.
“Mr. Wildstein has repeatedly been painted as the fall guy in this controversy but based on the documents released today, clearly that isn’t so,” Assembly Deputy Speaker and Transportation Committee Chair John Wisniewski (D) said in a statement. “This is all the more reason why his appearance at tomorrow’s transportation committee hearing is necessary.”
Christie held a press conference on Thursday morning, apologizing for the bridge lane closures. He also announced that deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly was fired. Christie also announced that the investigation into the incident was still ongoing.
- Federal Probe into George Washington Bridge Lane Closures
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- New Jersey Gov. Christie Retains outside Law Firm over Lane Closure Debacle
- Fort Lee Mayor Turns Down Request on “Bridge-gate” Interview
- Michael Drewniak Interviewed by U.S. Prosecutors
Tagged: breaking news, Chris Christie, david wildstein, democratic fort lee mayor mark sokolich, deputy chief of staff bridget anne kelly, fort lee, george washington bridge, lane closures, news, politics, port authority
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