Job created for former Christie ally goes away
February 5th, 2014
11:17 PM ET
9 months ago

Job created for former Christie ally goes away

(CNN) - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey job created for Gov. Chris Christie’s former ally David Wildstein no longer exists.

Agency spokesman Steve Coleman told CNN on Wednesday that the position of director of Interstate Capital Projects had been eliminated.

Wildstein is a key figure at the center of allegations that access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed for several days in September as an act of political retribution targeting the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s re-election bid.

Wildstein catapulted into the national spotlight with his response to the infamous e-mail from a Christie aide: "Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee," Bridget Anne Kelly wrote. Wildstein responded, "Got it."

When subpoenaed to testify last month about the lane closures before a legislative committee, Wildstein repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Port Authority records show that the position did not exist prior to Wildstein’s arrival at the agency in 2010. There was no job description for the upper-tier post that paid Wildstein an annual salary of $150,000.

Yet the title gave him access to all corners of the agency’s operations and he had the reputation of being Christie’s eyes and ears at the Port Authority, according to numerous current and former employees.

CNN reported exclusively several weeks ago that Wildstein was introduced to people at the highest levels of the Port Authority as a good friend of Christie.

A former employee with extensive knowledge of the agency's hiring practices told CNN that Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni – also a Christie appointee – said an executive position had to be found for Wildstein and this was coming directly from the governor’s office.

Wildstein resigned from his position on December 6. Baroni stepped down a few days later.

People who regularly dealt with the high school classmate of Chris Christie did not hesitate to criticize Wildstein’s brash management style.

More than a dozen former and current employees at the Port Authority who didn’t want their names being used said that he would often yell at people in front of co-workers. Several said Wildstein had, on occasion, threatened to fire employees who repeatedly contradicted him or pushed back on his initiatives.

Those current and former employees said people were careful about what they said when Wildstein was in the room, always assuming it would get back to Christie.

Christie spokesman Colin Reed said the idea that Wildstein was the governor's eyes and ears is "inaccurate" and "has been mischaracterized by the media."

"As the governor made clear… David Wildstein is not a childhood friend and his interactions with him over the last four years have been limited," Reed said.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey job created for Gov. Chris Christie’s former ally David Wildstein no longer exists.

    Chris Christie / Rick Perry 2016

    No Nonsense Job Creators ,

    February 6, 2014 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  2. ProudDem

    I'm kind of fascinated to see how the right plays this unraveling. An IRS office in Ohio "targets" some groups....in other words asks them some follow up questions to determine if their million dollar political slush funds can be tax exempt or not...oh the horror....and this is something Obama ran personally. Off with his head! On this, every day more and more details come out about how people IN the governors office did awful things...and it's a left wing media conspiracy.

    February 6, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  3. J.V.Hodgson

    Stop with the complicated detail that achieves nothing.
    Ask Mr. Wildstein, not about the GWB closure but to give specifics of what he did in his DICP job. What did you do? What ( interstate) good did your efforts do regarding any interstate capital project and please identify those projects. Budgets approvals costs and results/ benefits.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    February 6, 2014 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  4. basedonfact

    I call shenanigans on the Christie administration!

    February 6, 2014 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Of course the job doesn't exist anynmore. It seems that the NJ gov made up this job for a pal of his from high school or they might have known each other from before.
    Oh right, they had never met before he was hired.
    Silly me!

    February 6, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  6. Jo

    The wording of "not a childhood friend" seems carefully done, as in, yes they're good friends, but the friendship started in adulthood.

    February 6, 2014 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    What an ugly GOP clown, I guess who you associate with say a lot about a person. Christi , and biber the drug addict from Canada have a lot in common!!!

    February 6, 2014 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  8. xray vision

    They need a bigger bus, crowded under there.

    February 6, 2014 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  9. xray vision

    They weren't friends, nah, I always create unnecessary positions for people I hardly know. This is good stuff, the more he talks, the worse it looks, continue big guy.

    February 6, 2014 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Each day, it gets more interesting about corrupt New Jersey republican politics. Move over Illinois, Texas, and South Carolina, we have a new leader of political malfeasance.

    February 6, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "There was no job description for the upper-tier post that paid Wildstein an annual salary of $150,000."
    -----------------------------------------
    Sounds like a waste of taxpayer money.

    February 6, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  12. jinx9to88

    "As the governor made clear… David Wildstein is not a childhood friend and his interactions with him over the last four years have been limited,". WOW! Christie says this guy is not his friend but a job was created for David that paid 150k a year? I would like to see what David would have been paid if he was Christie friend.

    February 6, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  13. jinx9to88

    Where is Issa? Or is he only Obama babysitter and the crooked GOP get a pass.

    February 6, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    CNN reported exclusively several weeks ago that Wildstein was introduced to people at the highest levels of the Port Authority as a good friend of Christie.
    ------------------
    Good for CNN, and the rest of the mainstream media, for reporting about this most curious job position weeks ago. Meanwhile, outside the mainstream media, Fox has yet to pick up the Christie and give it the attention that it deserves. The problems within the Christie administration, and his inner circle, are a real issue, not a crisis manufactured by the politicians or th media. Five people have lost or given up their jobs as a result of the bridge scandal.

    This job position itself that was held by Mr. Wildstein is something that conservatives would point to as corruption, if Christie were a Democrat. It was a textbook example of the elite back scratching. The new position paid $150,000 per year, but yet it lacked a job description. The job description was a whispered one, that Wildsteing was the eyes and ears of the Governor's office.

    February 6, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  15. smith

    and liberals wonder why the conservatives won`t stop with Benghazi. All the way to 2016, Benghazigate and Bridgegate..smh

    February 6, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    people were careful about what they said when Wildstein was in the room, always assuming it would get back to Christie
    -------------------------------------------------
    He was Christie's eyes and ears at the Port Authority.
    He was a high school friend of Christie's.
    An executive position was created for him to the tune of $150k/year by another Christie appointee.
    And yet Christie is claiming through his lawyer that the media has mischaracterized their friendship and he hasn't seen much of Wildstein the past four years.
    Top which I respond "You lie!".

    February 6, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Was this the position that Christie created for the guy that wasn't a high school friend of Christie's (because you know, Christie was a jock and well ... that other guy wasn't ... so their high school paths never crossed) or was this the position that Christie created for the guy Christie felt was well suited for the position and the lucrative wage attached to the position he created ... although in retrospect, Christie never knew the guy from the get-go, yet created the position for this particular person anyway?

    February 6, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. rs

    smith

    and liberals wonder why the conservatives won`t stop with Benghazi. All the way to 2016, Benghazigate and Bridgegate..smh
    _______________________
    I fear for Mr. Christie, the artificially-made bridge traffic issue will be small potatos in the end. The real fireworks are witholding federal FEMA dollars in exchange for development "favors" for his donors. That story if it develops full y will sink Mr. Christie. Benghazi is still just a sad tale of the CIA 500 miles from an embassy- and still nothing compared to the 12 embassy attacks and 61 deaths that occured under Mr. Bush your ilk ignore choses to ignore. Face it- Benghazi hs political posturing, nothing else. Mr. Issa's $60 million "investigation" turrned up nothing.

    February 6, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |