When an order came down from The Office of the Governor in New Jersey to close traffic lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September, for four days it jeopardized lives. It tied up emergency resources, shut down crucial business, created unnecessary pollution, caused people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in gas. The average motorist that wanted to go to New York was delayed for about five hours.
For those not familiar, The George Washington Bridge is an vital artery connecting New York with Ft. Lee New Jersey . In September of last year several lanes to the bridge were ordered closed. Just who and why has threatened the Governors office and resulted in the biggest embarrassment of Governor Chris Christie's career. For months, the press and independent inquiries have sought information as to whether the governor's office ordered the closures. For months , the office has stonewalled the media and the people of the United States.
An earth shattering revelation happened yesterday, Jan 8 2014, when emails that were subpoenaed show that his deputy of staff, Bridget Kelly wrote to David Wildstein, who was a friend of the Governor and worked at the Port Authority, which oversee the bridge. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee". When Wildstein was told that school buses filled with children were on them, some of them special needs children. Wildstein retorted in an email "They are children of Buono voters" This refers to Barbra Buono, who ran against Christie in the recent gubernatorial election.
It gets worse, as some emails by Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien referred to Mayor mark Sokolich in this exchange" It's going to be a tough November for this little Serbian" In fact, Sokolich is of Croatian decent. The mayor did not support Christie in some of the Governor's efforts and many see this as payback.
As emails flew back and forth, it appears there was a conspiracy to defraud and lie to the media by crafting statements about a fictitious "traffic study" and further lied by saying the Fort Lee Police were well aware of this "Traffic Study". In fact, the Fort Lee Police were caught off guard and did not know about it until it was implemented. This also jeopardized lives as ambulances responding to or transporting cardiac patients were severely delayed, just so political operatives in the Governor's Office could play games.
Governor Christie quickly fired Kelly, as he became aware of the facts in the emails. Christie is backpedaling and trying desperately to convince people he is not a bully, and issued statements apologizing . He is expected to travel to Fort Lee NJ to apologize to the town in person later today. Several employees in the port Authority have resigned over this.
Most people think it is too little too late. The consensus is either the Governor has no control over what his staff are doing or his knew about it and the Governor fired them as scapegoats. Neither will play well for him as he was a virtual show in for a top republican spot to run for President of the United States in 2016. That has been severely compromised as a Federal Investigation into this is in the preliminary stages.
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