BREAKING: Evidence ramps up in Gov. Christie's growing George Washington Bridge scandal
Jan 08, 2014 | 1467 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NORTH JERSEY -- Did allies of Gov. Chris Christie close three local lanes to the George Washington Bridge just because Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich wouldn't endorse the governor in the November election?

Christie has denied the charge, but new aspects of the story keep emerging.

Today, the Record of Hackensack published excerpts from emails that show Christie's allies discussing potential "traffic problems" in Fort Lee, which suffered major traffic tie-ups due to the closure.

The story quotes an email from Bridget Anne Kelly, one of Christie's three deputies, to a Christie ally who is an executive at the Port Authority -- the ally who ultimately closed the lanes. The email apparently says, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

The email was apparently sent on Aug. 13, three weeks before the closures. David Wildstein of the Port Authority replied, "Got it."

Wildstein resigned last month amidst the scandal.

The emails also show Kelly asking Wildstein if anyone returned Sokolich's calls after he reached out to try to find the reason for the closings. Wildstein responds that the agency virtually ignored Sokolich, noting that, in effect, he's persona non grata just like another mayor who didn't endorse Christie.

“Radio silence,” Wildstein is quoted as saying in the email. “His name comes right after Mayor Fulop.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has said that the Christie administration shunned him when he didn’t endorse the Republican governor for re-election.

The kids on the bus

Then, the Record article goes on to quote an unnamed person expressing glee after Mayor Sokolich complained that school buses couldn't get through traffic.

The person, whose identity was redacted by the agency, asked Wildstein via text, “Is it wrong that I’m smiling?"

The person added, "I feel badly about the kids."

But according to the Record story, Wildstein wrote, “They are the children of Buono voters,” referring to Christie's Democratic gubernatorial opponent.

More to come?

A source told the Reporter that two more sets of exchanges will be made public soon, involving a top Christie staffer and a former staffer. A source also claimed that Sokolich aroused Christie's ire because the Christie administration had done his town a governmental favor, and he expected to be endorsed as a result.

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