Christie: I'm 'Outraged' at Traffic Allegations

Denies knowledge, says aides will be held responsible for causing gridlock to punish rival

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 8, 2014 4:26 PM CST

(Newser) – Chris Christie has responded to today's amazing allegations that his aides deliberately caused massive traffic jams on the world's busiest bridge to punish a political rival: The New Jersey governor insists that he had nothing to do with it and suggests that heads will roll, reports Politico. The statement:

  • "What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. 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. 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."

If you missed it, emails emerged from several media outlets suggesting that Christie aides ordered two lanes shut down on the George Washington Bridge in September, which led to gridlock in the town of Fort Lee—because Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich wouldn't endorse Christie in his re-election campaign against Democrat Barbara Buono. For her part, Buono has called on the Justice Department to look into criminal charges. "It clearly exposes a web of deceit and subterfuge and political retribution leading straight to Chris Christie," she tells the Star-Ledger. Though Christie didn't mention names, the emails show that a top aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, told a Christie-appointed official at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, that it was "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." The emails do not implicate Christie himself, notes the New York Times, though the governor initially said nobody affiliated with his office or campaign was involved.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering at Colin Powell elementary school in Union City, N.J.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a gathering at Colin Powell elementary school in Union City, N.J.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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