Christie: George Washington Bridge lane closings 'not that big a - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Christie: George Washington Bridge lane closings 'not that big a deal'

Posted: Updated:

ANGELA DELLI SANTI | AP

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday downplayed the closing of two approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge that prompted state and federal investigations and forced the resignation of his top two deputies at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

At a Statehouse news conference, Christie said the September lane closings that caused traffic backups in Fort Lee were "not that big a deal."

He said partisan politics and the media being "obsessed" with reporting the story are keeping it alive.

This is the second time in a week Christie faced questions about the lane closings that some Democrats believe were executed to pay back a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse Christie for re-election. Christie has denied it.

Christie said he has no reason to doubt his appointees, who maintain the closings were for a poorly communicated traffic study. No evidence of a traffic study has been produced.

Christie repeated Thursday that he doesn't remember ever meeting Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and says there was no reason for him to have been on Republicans' radar as a potential endorser.

Christie won re-election by 22 points in November. His campaign actively courted Democrats to boost his bipartisan brand ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run.

Legislators in the state Senate and Assembly introduced a joint resolution Thursday calling on Congress to re-examine the organizational structure and operating procedures of the Port Authority and to take steps to end the dysfunctional practices that they say plague the bistate agency.

West Virginia Sen. Jay D. Rockefeller IV announced his intent this week to have the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee look into the lane closings. The Port Authority's Inspector General and the Assembly panel are conducting their own investigations.

The lane closings that began on Sept. 9, the first day of school in Fort Lee, caused massive traffic tie-ups in the borough at the foot of the world's busiest bridge. The local-access lanes were ordered re-opened after four days by authority executive director Patrick Foye.

Foye, appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, testified under oath in New Jersey that he had not been told about the lane closings before then.

The closings were ordered by David Wildstein, a onetime political blogger and high school friend of Christie's, who the governor named to a newly created six-figure job four months after being inaugurated. He worked under Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, a former Republican state senator and Christie ally, who was considered Christie's eyes and ears at the agency.

Both men have retained lawyers since resigning last Friday.

Christie named former federal prosecutor Deb Gramiccioni to succeed Baroni.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Christie talks casinos, Springsteen at town hall

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:49:34 GMT
    Gov. Chris Christie of New JerseyGov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
    Gov. Chris Christie talked Atlantic City casinos and defended his use of Bruce Springsteen music in the latest installment of his summer "No Pain, No Gain" town hall series on Tuesday. Many previous events have featured protests by retirees and labor groups as well as Atlantic City casino workers urging Christie to do more to save their jobs following a series of announced closures.
  • Reward in probe of shooting of bald eagle in NJ

    Reward in probe of shooting of bald eagle in NJ

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:32:30 GMT
    Federal, state, and humane organizations are offering $7,500 in rewards in the case of the shooting of bald eagle in New Jersey. Someone shot a bald eagle in in Bridgeton City Park back in May, authorities said. The badly wounded bird was found May 20, 2014. Its wounds were so severe that it had to be was euthanized.
    Federal, state, and humane organizations are offering $7,500 in rewards in the case of the shooting of bald eagle in New Jersey. Someone shot a bald eagle in in Bridgeton City Park back in May, authorities said. The badly wounded bird was found May 20, 2014. Its wounds were so severe that it had to be was euthanized.
  • 3 dead

    Fatal crash in Freehold

    Fatal crash in Freehold

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-08-19 22:49:36 GMT
    A three-vehicle crash killed three people and critically hurt a fourth person in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The crash happened on the Kosloski Road overpass at Route 33 Business at about 3:45 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
    A three-vehicle crash killed three people and critically hurt a fourth person in Freehold Township, New Jersey, Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. The crash happened on the Kosloski Road overpass at Route 33 Business at about 3:45 p.m., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
  • LocalMore>>

  • Houston reacts to Ferguson

    Houston reacts to Ferguson

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:07:46 GMT
    Here in Houston it seems the shooting death of Michael Brown has sparked a number of parents to have a very specific conversation with their sons. The first word that may come to mind when you think of a city like Houston is diversity but even here a number of parents say part of raising a minority male is teaching him to stay safe when interacting with police officers.When you are stopped by a cop do you immediately shift into a tense and well rehearsed routine? "I'll keep my hands on the st...
    Here in Houston it seems the shooting death of Michael Brown has sparked a number of parents to have a very specific conversation with their sons. The first word that may come to mind when you think of a city like Houston is diversity but even here a number of parents say part of raising a minority male is teaching him to stay safe when interacting with police officers.When you are stopped by a cop do you immediately shift into a tense and well rehearsed routine? "I'll keep my hands on the st...
  • Open carry groups target Kroger

    Open carry groups target Kroger

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:56:59 GMT
    A gun control group is targeting the Kroger Grocery chain for not targeting gun owners who carry openly in their stores. Mom's Demand Action. "We're basically just asking Kroger to do the right thing and not allow the open carry of guns in their stores" saidThe group has already targeted Chipotle, Jack-in-the-Box and Target. All of them have agreed to ask customers to leave their guns at home. But Kroger said in a written statement that reads in part. "We don't want to put our associates in t...
    A gun control group is targeting the Kroger Grocery chain for not targeting gun owners who carry openly in their stores. Mom's Demand Action. "We're basically just asking Kroger to do the right thing and not allow the open carry of guns in their stores" saidThe group has already targeted Chipotle, Jack-in-the-Box and Target. All of them have agreed to ask customers to leave their guns at home. But Kroger said in a written statement that reads in part. "We don't want to put our associates in t...
  • Vitamin D may help Asthma sufferers breath easier

    Vitamin D may help Asthma sufferers breath easier

Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices