Gov. Christie addresses Bridge-Gate scandal at Flemington town hall

The governor addressed state finances and tourism.

The governor addressed state finances and tourism. (3/20/14)

FLEMINGTON - Gov. Chris Christie took a question about the Bridge-Gate scandal as he appeared before a capacity crowd this morning for his latest town hall event.

It was the first time after weeks of silence on the subject that the governor responded to a question on the topic at a town hall.

A resident questioned Christie's motives for firing Bridget Anne Kelly, the woman at the heart of the investigation, and the author of the infamous phrase "Time for traffic problems in Fort Lee."  

"You made the firing contingent on the least that's what you said in the press conference," the resident said. "The firing should be contingent on the illegal act."

"If she had told me the truth, she would have gotten fired too, because of what she did," Christie responded. "But I never had the chance to hear the truth." Kelly was fired in January.

Christie's recent town halls have been disrupted by protests over the bridge scandal and other alleged wrongdoing by the governor's aides. At Thursday's meeting, those protesters remained virtually silent. "We followed the rules, we actually thought that maybe just to get us to shut up he'd finally ask a question of us," said one protester.

The governor did not this time, but his opponents say that won't stop them from coming, and Christie says he'll be ready. "I can't sit around and get into a pity party for myself, I just can't," he says. "I have a job to do and that's what I have to do."

Aside from his radio show, the questions the governor takes at his town halls are the only public questions he's taken since a news conference Jan. 9. Christie's next town hall is in Belmar on Tuesday.

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