US Governor 'knew of lane closures at time' of traffic jam

A US official who ordered the closure of lanes on a congested bridge in New Jersey last September has claimed that Governor Chris Christie was aware of the move at the time. Mr Christie has repeatedly said he first learned of the closure last month.

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Official claims Governor Christie knew of lane closures

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing a fresh accusation that he was aware of the deliberate closure of lanes on a busy bridge last September which caused a major traffic jam, NBC News reports.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has repeatedly said he knew nothing of the lane closures at the time Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Mr Christie, who has long been seen as a possible contender for the presidency, insists he first became aware that some of his aides were involved in the closure of the lanes when it was revealed in the press last month.

But a letter from a lawyer representing David Wildstein - the Port Authority official who gave the order - speaks of evidence showing that the governor had "knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were closed".

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Mr Christie's office repeated his position that "he had absolutely no prior knowledge of the lane closures before they happened".

Springsteen lampoons New Jersey bridge scandal

New Jersey rock legend Bruce Springsteen has lampooned his state's governor over his role in the recent bridge scandal.

Republican Chris Christie, such a big Springsteen fan that he cried when the singer acknowledged his efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, is under fire after his staff ordered the closure of a bridge to cause traffic problems in an area controlled by a political rival.

Appearing on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on NBC in the US, Springsteen and Fallon adapted his hit Born To Run to poke fun at the scandal and Christie's subsequent press conference, which was "longer than one of [his] own damn shows."


Reports: Residents suing US Governor over traffic claims

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, his former aide and two former Port Authority officials are facing a class legal action over claims that they conspired to cause a traffic jam on one of the country's busiest bridges, according to CNN and other local media.

The report says they are being sued by residents of Bergen County who claim that getting stuck in the traffic resulted in loss of wages.

CNN cites Rosemarie Arnold, the attorney representing the six plaintiffs, as saying: "To find out that the residents and the plaintiffs in this case were pawns in a political game is just disgraceful."

Read: Could a traffic jam halt a Governor's White House hopes?

Scandal-hit US Governor hails 'productive meeting'

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has held a half-hour meeting with the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, after he appears to have fallen foul of a political vendetta by the Governor's staff, NBC News reports.

One of Mr Christie's senior aides was fired after revelations that she conspired with the port authority to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, causing traffic problems in Fort Lee.

NBC News cites the Governor as saying that he had a "very good and productive meeting".

Gov. Christie: There is no justification for that behaviour

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said "there is no justification" for the behaviour of his former aide Bridget Kelly's over the bridge scandal.

The George Washington Bridge toll booths pictured in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Christie, a possible Republican White House contender, told a news conference, "There is no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this Government".


NJ Governor 'embarrassed' over bridge scandal claims

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he is "embarrassed and humiliated" by conduct of some people on his team following a scandal over his staff's alleged role in shutting down lanes onto the busy George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor.

Christie said, "There is no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and for the people that we are trusted to serve".

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addresses a news conference. Credit: RTV

Christie, a possible Republican White House contender, held a news conference after he became enmeshed in the scandal.

US attorney in New Jersey 'to open inquiry into closures'

The US attorney in New Jersey is set to open an inquiry into recent controversial bridge lane closures, which critics say were engineered by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's staff for political retribution, The New York Times reported.

The newspaper gave no further details.

Christie is a possible Republican contender for the 2016 White House race.

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