• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 51s

Chris Christie knew about bridge closings, ex-official says

By CBS News 3:11 PM January 31, 2014

Evidence exists that indicates Christie had knowledge of the lane closures when they were closed, he says

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., knew about the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, the attorney for the former Port Authority official who oversaw the closings said Friday, adding that “evidence exists” to prove it, the New York Times first reported.

The attorney for David Wildstein, who was appointed by Christie to the Port Authority and later resigned after the scandal broke, said in a letter released that “evidence exists as well 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.”

“Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter added.

The Christie administration responded late Friday afternoon with a written statement, which 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.  As the Governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press and as he said in his January 9th press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of January 8th. The Governor denies Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer’s other assertions.”

Christie said during a two-hour-long Jan. 9 news conference that he “had no knowledge of this – of the planning, the execution or anything about it – and that I first found out about it after it was over,” adding he also didn’t know that anyone on his staff was involved in the closings until the day before the news conference.

Previously, in a Dec. 13 news conference, Christie said, “The first I ever heard of the issue was when it was reported in the press … I think that was the first I heard of it. But it was certainly well after the whole thing was over before I heard about it.”

Meanwhile, the Newark Star-Ledger’s editorial board released a scathing editorial Friday after the release of Wildstein’s attorney’s letter writing, “If this proves to be true, then the governor must resign or be impeached. Because it will show that everything he said at his famous two-hour press conference was a lie.

What seemed to be a poorly planned lane closure to conduct a traffic study in September exploded into a full-blown scandal earlier this month after a series of communications between a Christie aide and two of his political appointees to the Port Authority became public. The email and text messages suggested that Bridget Anne Kelly, one of Christie’s three deputy chiefs of staff, ordered the lane closures.”Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote in an Aug. 13 message to Wildstein.

“Got it,” replied Wildstein, who later resigned as a result of the outburst of anger surrounding the lane closings.

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Dam expansion increases Sitka’s power production

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 24, 19:44

    The Blue Lake Project in Sitka is set to dramatically increase the production of hydroelectricity for the city. Five miles out of town, up a one-lane dirt road, tucked into the mountains, construction crews work on the expansion in the windy canyon. The project is so massive it takes Alaska’s largest, 600-ton crane to make […]

  • News

    Anchorage mom loses boxing match, still wins big

    by Lauren Maxwell on Oct 24, 19:18

    Maria Edwards had never boxed before she got in the ring Thursday night at the Egan Center. But she had a good reason for taking part in Anchorage’s Thursday Night Fights: She was trying to earn enough cash to afford gymnastic lessons for her 3-year-old son. Edwards had her eye on the prize money, $50 […]

  • News

    Complaints lead to towing ordinance update

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 24, 18:46

    Anchorage residents who are angry over inconsistent and often exorbitant towing fees may soon see some relief. The Anchorage Assembly discussed a proposed amendment to the municipal towing ordinance Friday. The amendment would cap the price of non-consensual tows, such as when cars are towed from private lots, at $225. It also prevents towing companies from […]

  • News

    Assembly debates software program audit

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 24, 18:06

    Anchorage Assembly members met Friday to discuss how to best move forward with the municipality’s troubled software overhaul. Members debated conducting an independent audit of the SAP program, which is designed to automate many aspects of government, including payroll. But the program is three years overdue and more than $20 million over budget. Assembly members […]

  • Crime

    Fairbanks priest indicted on child exploitation charges

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 16:10

    Placed on leave earlier this year while under investigation by the FBI, a Fairbanks priest has now been indicted for child exploitation. Friday, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office announced 57-year-old Clint Michael Landry was formally charged with attempted production of child pornography and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. According to court documents, Landry […]

  • On-Air

    Mic Check in the Morning: Jonathan J. Bower

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 14:08

    Friday in the KTVA 11 Studios, Jonathan J. Bower gave Daybreak a sneak peek into his new album, “Hope, Alaska” for Mic Check in the Morning. Bower will perform Friday, Oct. 24 at Studio 2200 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26 at Anchorage Community Works at 3 p.m.

  • News

    Don Young apologizes at AFN for suicide comments

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 24, 12:19

    Last updated 1:40 p.m. Rep. Don Young, who recently came under fire for his comments about suicide at a Wasilla high school earlier this week, publicly apologized at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Friday. In a speech, Young said he gives the issues of suicide and mental illness “a high priority,” listing his co-sponorship […]

  • News

    Lanterns with positive message surprise drivers, air traffic controllers

    by Hope Miller on Oct 24, 11:48

    Paper lanterns were launched into the sky in East Anchorage Thursday night with a message of hope for victims of domestic violence. The lanterns, however, came as a surprise to some in the area, causing officials to briefly reroute airplane traffic at Merrill Field. “Shed the Light” is an event aimed at starting the conversation […]