Christie Ally Ordered To Testify In Bridge Scandal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A close ally and former high school classmate of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was ordered on Tuesday to testify about the scandal involving lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

David Wildstein was subpoenaed to testify at a hearing Jan. 9 by New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D), who has been leading the investigation into the September lane closures.

Wildstein was the director of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge.

He and another Christie appointee at the agency resigned earlier this month amid mounting questions about the lane closures, which caused days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J.

Some Democrats have alleged Christie’s Port Authority appointees had the lanes shut because a Fort Lee’s mayor declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid. Wildstein has said the lane closures were the result of a traffic study and Christie has repeatedly denied any role in the decision to shut the lanes.

“When not making traffic cone jokes and shrugging off the threats to public safety these lane closings created, Gov. Christie has made clear that this decision was largely the fault of Mr. Wildstein,” Wisniewski said in his statement announcing the subpoena issued to Wildstein. “So as we continue gathering information on this matter the time has come to hear directly from Mr. Wildstein. The public deserves answers as to how this decision was made, who was involved and its true purpose. I look forward to Mr. Wildstein providing insight into this decision that put public safety at risk and raised serious questions about this vital yet dysfunctional agency being used for political vengeance.”

Wisniewski, who is chairman of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, issued subpoenas to seven Port Authority officials demanding any correspondence between members of the Christie administration and the agency.

In a statement announcing the latest subpoena, Wisniewski said his decision to order Wildstein to testify was “based, in part, on information already gathered from the subpoenaed documents.”

Wisniewski did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

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