Bridge-Gate panel co-chair Assemblyman John Wisniewski says investigation will continue

The chairman of the committee reviewing what happened

The chairman of the committee reviewing what happened during the closure of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge last September says the investigation will continue. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

TRENTON - The chairman of the committee reviewing what happened during the closure of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge last September says the investigation will continue.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, co-chairman of the legislature's Bridge-Gate committee, says the blanket of silence around the GWB lane closures enforced by Port Authority police leadership needs explanation.

"So you have a police officer saying, 'This isn't going so well, we oughta undo it,'" he says. "It's shocking to have that police officer told, 'Shut up.'"

A letter leaked to the media Wednesday suggests as many as 11 Port Authority officers got a first-hand look at the traffic disaster and at least a few of them were concerned about what it meant for public safety.  

Those who voiced that concern were told to keep quiet and not interfere.

Wisniewski says the virtual gag order suggests leadership at the agency knew they were doing something wrong and his committee needs to find out more.

At least one of the Republicans on the committee downplayed the significance of the new information.

Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, a frequent critic of the committee's leadership, called the document leak a distraction from what should be the real purpose of the investigation- reforming the Port Authority.

The committee is still trying to determine whether the officers will receive subpoenas.

A spokesman for the Port Authority and the lawyer representing the 11 officers on the bridge that day would not comment on the investigation.

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