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A top aide for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been linked to the controversial and sudden lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September. Christie has denied any involvement in the move, but emails uncovered by the media suggest that aide Bridget Anne Kelly may have had something to do with it.
The emails reportedly show that Kelly, a deputy chief of staff for Christie, was in contact with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey two weeks before the lanes were closed without any announcement, reports The New York Times. She emailed David Wildstein, a friend of Christie’s who was appointed to the Port Authority.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she reportedly wrote in one email to Wildstein. According to the North Jersey Record, Wildstein’s response was “Got it.”
According to USA Today, the closures caused massive traffic gridlock in Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, did not support Christie, a Republican, during his successful race for re-election. The New Jersey Senate is already looking into the possibility that the lane closures were Christie’s revenge for not supporting him. But Christie has said that this was not the case and his office had nothing to do with it.
The Record also claims that text messages between Wildstein and an unidentified person after the lane closures discussed how they were affecting Fort Lee. “Is it wrong that I’m smiling,” the unidentified person wrote, to which Wildstein responded, “No.”
“I feel badly for the kids,” the person wrote back. “I guess,” Wildstein wrote, later added, “They are the children of Buono voters.” Barbara Buno was Christie’s Democrat challenger in the election.
Wildstein and Bill Baroni, another one of Christie’s Port Authority appointees, have resigned from their office. Wildstein did get a subpoena to appear for the Assembly Transportation Committee on Thursday.
image: Wikimedia Commons