Bridge-Gate panel looking into GWB closures heats up over subpoenas

The legislative committee investigating Bridge-Gate wants to get to the bottom of a report that declared Gov. Chris Christie had no advance knowledge of the traffic-blocking scheme. (4/8/14)

TRENTON - The legislative committee investigating Bridge-Gate wants to get to the bottom of a report that declared Gov. Chris Christie had no advance knowledge of the traffic-blocking scheme.

Conversation became heated during a hearing Tuesday.

Republicans, led by Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, think now is the time to move forward with Port Authority reforms, the overall goal of the investigation. Handlin likened issues at the interstate agency to a stabbing victim. "Am I supposed to wait before I stop the bleeding until the police have caught the stabber?  Don't you think the bleeding at the Port Authority has gone on long enough?" she asked.

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Democrats say it's too early to propose solutions when they don't know what all the problems are.

No new subpeonas were issued, but committee co-chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski said they want the information behind the report issued by Gov. Chris Christie's lawyers last month. Wisniewski said they will give them until the end of the week to produce it.

Everyone involved is still waiting to see if a judge will force Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien, two of the people at the heart of the investigation, to turn over any documents they have.

"It's a unique opportunity to produce legislation," Wisniewski says. "It won't come our way again, and so we have to do it right."

The scandal surrounding the closure of several traffic lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge has been a major headache for Christie, who many believe may run for president in 2016.

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