Who's who in Christie bridge scandal
February 17th, 2014
01:05 PM ET
10 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

    Nah, nothing fishy there, this is your gop, nothing but lies.

    February 17, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. salty dog

    And the noose gets tighter . Loving this, oh yes I am.

    February 17, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Could this be when one old saying is in need of resurrection? The Fat's In The Fire Now.

    February 17, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. ChrisM

    And another level of investigations in the bridge lane closure. And the continuing investigations into the disparity of the disbursement of the Sandy relief funds. Christies story changes with each new investigation

    February 17, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    If the police were directed to tell motorists to direct their concerns to Fort Lee's Mayor or to Fort Lee's borough offices, who can order the police to do such a thing? This scandal is just getting deeper and deeper. Whose going to rat first?

    February 17, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. bobo

    Christie Still didn't do it! Show us the email where it said: "Block traffic... thanks.... Chris Christie."

    February 17, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. salty dog

    Bobo if it looks, smells like dog doo, it likely is. He was framed

    February 17, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Tommy G

    Sure sounds like the multi-million dollar Democrat witch hunt is getting more and more desperate with every passing day. What next? Investigate whether Christie's dog had any involvement?! hahahahaha....

    February 17, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Is he back from sunny warm Puerto Rico? Private jet?
    Good for him. Now let's go ridge gate started.

    February 17, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. John Smith

    Now the Democrats and the press are about to destroy a police officer who was trying to help . Figures their is not a sewer too rank for MSNBC and CNN and the Democratic party drink from as their desperation mounts.

    February 17, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Christie, meanwhile, picked this particular time in his life to take a much needed vaca in Puerto Rico with the fam.
    I guess his thinking is, in light of all of these new developments, that it might be the last time he's allowed to set foot outside of the "mainland".
    I don't feel sorry for the good Governor.
    I've always suspected that he governed like a mafioso running his own Cosa Nostra.
    The more they dig the more my suspicions will be confirmed.
    But hey, let's wait for ALL the evidence to come in before the rest of you jump to any conclusions.
    As for me, I've seen enough.

    February 17, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tommy G

    Sure sounds like the multi-million dollar Democrat witch hunt is getting more and more desperate with every passing day. What next? Investigate whether Christie's dog had any involvement?! hahahahaha....
    ***********************
    You're never desperate when you have proof of wrongdoing, unlike the Grand Inquisitor Issa.

    February 17, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. salty dog

    A police officer under a Christie appointee, one if many, your just not willing to accept the fact he set up his administration so he could control everything and everyone, you sound pathetic defending him . How is the police officer being destroyed, he only did what he was told, if his life is being threatened its certainly not from the left, Christie has no doubt threatened him though, I'm sure.

    February 17, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I think Christie's mother also had a hand in this. I demand the FBI investigate. There is also rumor that the Girl Scouts were involved. Justice Dept. can handle that one. So will the Democrat Party be paying the tens of millions for all of these bogus investigations? Of course not. That is going to be the tax payer.

    February 17, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. rs

    Anonymous

    I think Christie's mother also had a hand in this. I demand the FBI investigate. There is also rumor that the Girl Scouts were involved. Justice Dept. can handle that one. So will the Democrat Party be paying the tens of millions for all of these bogus investigations? Of course not. That is going to be the tax payer.
    ___________________
    I would check with Mr. Issa on the cost thing- he can probably tell you what "investigations" cost. As you know, the GOP never considers the costs of their inquiries (real or imagined).

    February 17, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. 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?

    February 17, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. 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.

    February 17, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I don't see anyone here demanding Christie's head.
    I think we're all enjoying the digging way too much.
    I know I am.
    Furthermore bringing up 20 year old nontroversies speaks of nothing except having nothing...oh and a little desperation.
    Personally I'm getting tired of looking at ugly pics of Bill and Hill from the 80's.

    February 17, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    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?
    ********************
    With Christie, there's some actual, tangible evidence of wrongdoing. With Hillary, its just to pump up ratings.

    February 17, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Bill from GA

    I love that picture. He looks SOOO innocent.

    If he is that good of an actor, maybe he could play Tony Soprano in 'Sopranos, The Movie', instead of trying to run his state like he's a Mafia boss.

    February 17, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. salty dog

    Right, its the Democrats, they did it, they made his appointees, faked the emails, heck the bridge probably wasn't even closed. How unbelievably shallow must one.be to stay committed to this party? The hate, bigotry and ignorance is there for all to see, sad but true.

    February 17, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    By the way, did anyone hear about Christie's past? 20 years ago, he was successfully sued for defamation of character for running an ad in a local election accusing his opponant of being under investigation. After Christie won, the election, he was sued and forced to admit he was wrong: he lost re-election. Christie is as dirty as they come: I was just not willing to admit how dirty.

    February 17, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. 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.

    February 17, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. salty dog

    With every new development he struggles to maintain his image of being the victim. That's always my favorite part, the victim speech, I didn't know, and I'm shocked, yea, me too.

    February 17, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Tommy G

    Bill from GA
    I love that picture. He looks SOOO innocent.
    -–

    Actually, he IS innocent. To date, there has been no proof of his guilt. Just wild, Democrat politically driven nonsense and lies.

    February 17, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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