Who's who in Christie bridge scandal
February 17th, 2014
01:05 PM ET
8 months ago

Port Authority executive seeks probe of agency police in George Washington Bridge scandal

Updated 10:15 a.m. ET, 2/18/2014

New York (CNN) – There is a new layer of scrutiny around the now notorious closing of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, which created traffic gridlock and touched off a political scandal in New Jersey roiling Gov. Chris Christie’s administration.

The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the nation’s busiest bridge, has ordered an investigation into the role its police force may have played around the lane closures for several days last September.

Sources familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about it, said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye has referred the bi-state agency’s inspector general to investigate.

Specifically, he wants the watchdog to look into the actions of police following reports that officers told frustrated motorists stuck in traffic to direct their complaints to the mayor of Fort Lee, or to call the borough of Fort Lee's offices to complain.

MSNBC and The Bergen Record reported on the new development over the weekend.

A number of top Christie gubernatorial and political advisers have been swept up in the scandal involving suggestions state officials orchestrated the gridlock to politically punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, for not endorsing their boss for reelection last November.

Christie said he didn’t know about the traffic mess until after it was over and only after media reports surfaced. Additionally, he has denied knowledge of any political scheme.

One top aide has been fired and others have left their jobs over the matter being investigated by a state legislative committee and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

MSNBC reported it appears that a Port Authority police officer, Chip Michaels, who along with his brother Jeff have family ties to Christie, drove a key figure in the scandal – Port Authority executive David Wildstein – around bridge facilities at the time of the traffic snarls to inspect the gridlocked conditions.

Christie spokesman Colin Reed responded, saying, "The governor has never had any conversations with either Jeff or Chip Michaels on this topic.”

E-mails released in January as the lane closure scandal investigation heated up in Trenton, suggested Wildstein, a high school classmate of Christie appointed to his post by the governor, carried out the lane closures.

The legislative panel probing the traffic jams is also interested in the role of police. Some say if police told drivers to direct their complaints to the mayor of Fort Lee, it would bolster claims they were indeed intended as an act of political retribution.

CNN Investigative Correspondent Chris Frates contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. salty dog

    It must be said, why is there no outrage over the 50 americans killed during the bush reign? Crickets....

    February 17, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    -it must be said

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?
    yolanda
    Aren't these people demanding Christie's head the same ones who were just asking why the media is asking questions about Hillary.....double standard much?
    ----–
    Don't conflate the two. Christie's scandal is legitimate in comparison to Benghazi and the boogey man stories republicans are putting out there.
    -

    Yes, obviously, only the left conducts legitimate investigations because as we all know, Democrats and lefties never do anything wrong. And even if they did, it was obviously somebody elses fault.

    Benghazi was a scandal of massive incompetence on the part of Hillary Clinton. Incompetence that cost 4 people, including an ambassador, their lives.
    ****************************
    Yes, and we all know that the Right would NEVER waste taxpayer money in an effort to make something out of a tragedy. Has Issa found anything of substance on any of the investigations he has conducted that rise to the level of criminal behavior?

    February 17, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. salty dog

    Benghazi? You dont sound foolish at all, nah, not at all. George sent thousands to die for money, and you want people to be outraged by four, unintened deaths, you don't have the sense to be ashamed by your statement do you? You fools would rather struggle under a rich white mans rule, than prosper under a blackman, genius, pure and simple

    February 17, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. salty dog

    Does other countries have warrants for Hillary's arrest? How about Obama, no. Says more than you'd like it too, but you'll pretend like that doesn't matter.

    February 17, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    -it must be said

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?
    yolanda
    Aren't these people demanding Christie's head the same ones who were just asking why the media is asking questions about Hillary.....double standard much?
    ----–
    Don't conflate the two. Christie's scandal is legitimate in comparison to Benghazi and the boogey man stories republicans are putting out there.
    -

    Yes, obviously, only the left conducts legitimate investigations because as we all know, Democrats and lefties never do anything wrong. And even if they did, it was obviously somebody elses fault.

    Benghazi was a scandal of massive incompetence on the part of Hillary Clinton. Incompetence that cost 4 people, including an ambassador, their lives.
    ***************************************
    Strange, I doubt you were this enthusiastic to investigate Colin Powell and Condi Rice for having 50 people kllled on their watch, but, as we all know the GOP has no stomach for investigating their own. Christie got an invite to CPAC this year, so I guess that speaks volumes.

    February 17, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    "Benghazi was a scandal of massive incompetence on the part of Hillary Clinton. Incompetence that cost 4 people, including an ambassador, their lives."
    -------------------------------------
    What made Benghazi a scandal? Please answer that for me and not one of your Fox Noise talking points.

    February 17, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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