TRENTON - A former aide to Gov. Chris Christie says she had no knowledge of or involvement in the political payback plot at the George Washington Bridge.
The ex-aide, Christina Renna, testified under oath today for more than five hours before lawmakers. The lawmakers are investigating politically-motivated lane closings that caused gridlock in Fort Lee, the town at the base of the heavily-traveled bridge between New Jersey and New York City.
Renna worked under Christie's fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly as part of the Inter-Governmental Affairs agency, a group designated to deal with local officials.
Kelly appeared to set the lane closings in motion with an email message saying, "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
"I wouldn't say she was the architect, but she was instrumental in the process," said Renna. "I believe that."
Renna, who resigned in February, was questioned about the possible infiltration of politics in the governor's office during Christie's re-election campaign. Lawmakers pressed her about the role the agency played in trying to get an endorsement from Mark Sokolich, the mayor of Fort Lee.
Renna also testified that Kelly ordered her to delete sensitive emails as word of the lane closures began to leak out, something she just attributed to Kelly's panicked state.
Renna said Kelly communicated often with former Christie political operative Bill Stepien.
The former aide also defended the administration and the work of her office.