New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced the resignation Friday of an official tied to the growing scandal over a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last summer.
Bill Baroni, an ally of Christie’s who was the deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, resigned effective immediately.
Other local officials have alleged three lanes leading onto the bridge were ordered closed by Christie’s allies because a local mayor declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid. Baroni said the lanes were closed for a traffic study.
Christie said the resignation was “nothing that I hadn’t planned already.” The governor also denied political concerns played a role in the gridlock.
“Baroni said when he testified (during a recent hearing) that a mistake was made. They believe that the study needed to be done but they didn’t do it correctly within the protocols of the Port Authority,” Christie said. “He’s taken responsibility for that, as well he should because he’s the lead person for New Jersey at the Port.”
The resignation followed that of another Port Authority official, David Wildstein, who announced last week that he would step down Jan. 1.
This post has been updated.