Ex-Port Authority official: Gov. Chris Christie knew of GW Bridge closures

Wildstein: Christie knew of GWB closures (2/1/14)

EDISON - A former Port Authority official who resigned in the wake of the Bridge-Gate traffic flap claims that Gov. Chris Christie knew about the lane closures, according to a letter by his lawyer.

David Wildstein, who was appointed by Christie, said in the letter that he knows of proof that the governor was aware of the George Washington Bridge lane closures in September.

In the letter obtained by News 12 New Jersey, Wildstein claims evidence exists "tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference."  The letter does not say what the evidence is.

Read letter from Wildstein's attorney

Read Gov. Chris Christie's reponse
 

The governor's office released a statement Friday that said, "Mr. Wildstein's lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along - he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened and whatever Mr. Wildstein's motivations were for closing them to begin with... The governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions."

Christie had previously denied having any knowledge that anyone in his administration was involved, until an article was published in the Bergen Record laying out the actions of two of his former staffers, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Stepien. Both were subsequently fired, and Christie apologized for his staffer's actions, but claimed he personally wasn't aware of their involvement.

Wildstein was the man at the Port Authority who carried out the request to close the Fort Lee lanes onto the George Washington Bridge last fall, in the now infamous email containing the phrase, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." 

David Wildstein's attorney has publically stated that his client would be willing to trade information in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his role in the scandal.

The letter that contains the accusations was sent from Wildstein's lawyer to the Port Authority to request that the agency pay for Wildstein's legal costs related to the bridge flap. The agency had previously denied the request to cover his fees, according to the letter.

The joint committee investigating the lane closures has a set Monday deadline to receive all related documents.

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