Christie: George Washington Bridge lane closings 'not that big a - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Christie: George Washington Bridge lane closings 'not that big a deal'

Posted: Updated:

ANGELA DELLI SANTI | AP

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday downplayed the closing of two approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge that prompted state and federal investigations and forced the resignation of his top two deputies at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

At a Statehouse news conference, Christie said the September lane closings that caused traffic backups in Fort Lee were "not that big a deal."

He said partisan politics and the media being "obsessed" with reporting the story are keeping it alive.

This is the second time in a week Christie faced questions about the lane closings that some Democrats believe were executed to pay back a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie for re-election. Christie has denied it.

Christie said he has no reason to doubt his appointees, who maintain the closings were for a poorly communicated traffic study. No evidence of a traffic study has been produced.

Christie repeated Thursday that he doesn't remember ever meeting Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and says there was no reason for him to have been on Republicans' radar as a potential endorser.

Christie won re-election by 22 points in November. His campaign actively courted Democrats to boost his bipartisan brand ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run.

Legislators in the state Senate and Assembly introduced a joint resolution Thursday calling on Congress to re-examine the organizational structure and operating procedures of the Port Authority and to take steps to end the dysfunctional practices that they say plague the bistate agency.

West Virginia Sen. Jay D. Rockefeller IV announced his intent this week to have the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee look into the lane closings. The Port Authority's Inspector General and the Assembly panel are conducting their own investigations.

The lane closings that began on Sept. 9, the first day of school in Fort Lee, caused massive traffic tie-ups in the borough at the foot of the world's busiest bridge. The local-access lanes were ordered re-opened after four days by authority executive director Patrick Foye.

Foye, appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, testified under oath in New Jersey that he had not been told about the lane closings before then.

The closings were ordered by David Wildstein, a onetime political blogger and high school friend of Christie's, who the governor named to a newly created six-figure job four months after being inaugurated. He worked under Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, a former Republican state senator and Christie ally, who was considered Christie's eyes and ears at the agency.

Both men have retained lawyers since resigning last Friday.

Christie named former federal prosecutor Deb Gramiccioni to succeed Baroni.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 teens

    NJ mom charged with trying to kill her 3 children

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:25 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:25:35 GMT
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
    A southern New Jersey woman is in custody on charges she tried to kill her three children by driving her car into the Delaware River.
  • German Shepherd called to jury duty

    German Shepherd called to jury duty

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:16:16 GMT
    At least one prospective juror in New Jersey could take a bite out of crime. Cumberland County has summoned IV Griner to jury duty. The only problem is IV is a 5-year-old German Shepherd.
    At least one prospective juror in New Jersey could take a bite out of crime. Cumberland County has summoned IV Griner to jury duty. The only problem is IV is a 5-year-old German Shepherd.
  • Woman allegedly exposes genitals during heroin arrest

    Woman allegedly exposes genitals during heroin arrest

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-16 19:47:46 GMT
    A Barnegat woman tried to spit on police officers and repeatedly exposed her genitals during a heroin arrest.  Police say that Angela Woerner, 28, was in the parking lot of the CVS on West Bay Avenue. An officer saw her and knew that she had outstanding warrants out for her arrest.
    A Barnegat woman tried to spit on police officers and repeatedly exposed her genitals during a heroin arrest.  Police say that Angela Woerner, 28, was in the parking lot of the CVS on West Bay Avenue. An officer saw her and knew that she had outstanding warrants out for her arrest.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices