TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie's longtime press secretary says he's confident his boss of 14 years had no knowledge of or involvement in the scheme that shut traffic near the George Washington Bridge in an apparent political payback plot.

The spokesman, Michael Drewniak, called the plot "reckless" and "perplexing" in an opening statement Tuesday before a New Jersey legislative committee that's investigating last September's lane closings.

Convincing some people in Fort Lee that Drewniak is telling the truth won't be easy.  "I'd like to give him a chance and believe him,"  one resident says.

Others say they don't care if Gov. Christie knew anything at all. They just want someone to come clean. "I couldn't call the Port Authority and have them shut down two access lanes," says Jack Mcleam. "It came with some authority."

The scheme, blamed on former aides in the governor's office, has become a major distraction as the Republican contemplates a 2016 presidential run. Christie has denied knowing anything about the plot.

Drewniak has also testified before a federal grand jury that's separately investigating the lane closings.