Christie fires Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly

Gov. Christie says he knew nothing of a plan by some of his closest aides to create traffic jams as political payback to a town

Gov. Christie says he knew nothing of a plan by some of his closest aides to create traffic jams as political payback to a town mayor.

Gov. Christie says he knew nothing of a plan by some of his closest aides to create traffic jams as political payback to a town mayor. (1/9/14)

TRENTON - Gov. Christie says he knew nothing of a plan by some of his closest aides to create traffic jams as political payback to a town mayor.

Christie spoke for two hours at a packed news conference Thursday morning. The governor was forced to address the scandal that he had initially dismissed as nothing more than partisan politics.

He says he had "no knowledge or involvement in this issue in its planning or execution." He adds that he was stunned by the "abject stupidity that was shown." Nevertheless, he said, he was responsible for what happened.

Christie also said he was firing Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly "because she lied" to him. Christie said he initially asked his staff if anyone had anything to do with the closures, and when no one came forward, he considered the matter closed.

On Wednesday, an email exchange between Kelly and other Christie appointees went public.

Kelly is the latest casualty in the widening George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Messages obtained by News 12 New Jersey yesterday show Kelly arranged traffic jams to punish the Fort Lee mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. 

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote in August in a message to David Wildstein, a top Christie appointee on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

A few weeks later, Wildstein closed two of three lanes connecting Fort Lee to the heavily traveled George Washington Bridge, which runs between New Jersey and New York City.

The governor's opponent in the November election, Barbara Buono, finds it hard to believe he could have been kept in the dark for so long. "He runs it like a paramilitary organization," Buono says. "That's why when he says he didn't know anything about this, I don't buy it."

"I am responsible for what happened," Christie says. "I am sad to report to the people of New Jersey that we fell short."
 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of 1 VIDEO: News conference on arrest in murder of Sarah Butler
Republican Steve Rogers announces he will run for 2 Republican Steve Rogers announces gubernatorial run
3 VIDEO: Jersey City Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony
Dozens of fellow officers show up to support 4 Dozens show up to support fired Wayne police officer
Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, was charged with the murder 5 Arrest made in murder of college student found in W. Orange

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE