The usually tough-talking politician was sincere on Wednesday, January 8, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was misled by his staff after fresh revelations that a top aide played a key role in closing some lanes, leading to one of the world’s busiest bridges in what critics say was a political vendetta.
A Republican seen to make a bid for the White House in 2016, Christie has become entangled in a scandal over the closing of part of the access to the George Washington Bridge, a move seen as a punishment for a New Jersey Democratic mayor.
“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,” Christie said in a statement.
Act of Revenge
Christie insisted his office had nothing to do with the lane closings, which created havoc for hundreds of thousands of residents. Emails released Wednesday, however, showed that at least one of his top aides was involved in the closures weeks beforehand.
Critics say the lane shutdown was retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who did not endorse the governor’s re-election bid. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, said it was the result of a last-minute traffic study.