They knew the George Washington Bridge gridlock could kill someone — and did nothing to stop it.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s top two Port Authority appointees, despite warnings of severely delayed emergency response time, extended the government-sanctioned traffic jams in Fort Lee for three days.
A Sept. 9 email to PA execs Bill Baroni and David Wildstein laid out the life-threatening situation created by the punitive morning rush-hour lane closings at the world’s busiest bridge.
“Wanted you both (to) have a heads-up — Peggy Thomas, Borough Administrator, called me regarding the increased volume and congestion,” wrote PA employee Tina Lado.
“She mentioned there were two incidents that Ft Lee PD and EMS had difficulty responding to: a missing child (later found) and a cardiac arrest … If there is anything you need me to do, let me know.”
The lanes instead remained closed in the Sept. 9-12 Bridgegate scandal that led to the pair’s resignations. Emails showed Wildstein approving the daily extensions of the “road test.”
Florence Genova, a 91-year-old Fort Lee woman, died on Sept. 9, and local officials said it took twice the usual time for first responders to reach her home.
The bi-state agency’s furious executive director, after learning of the bogus four-day traffic study, fired off an email declaring federal, New York and New Jersey laws were broken.
“I pray that no life has been lost,” read PA Executive Director Patrick Foye’s page-long Sept. 13 rant about the so-called “TL-24” test.
“I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision which violates everything this agency stands for,” Foye vowed. “I intend to learn how PA process was wrongfully subverted and the public interest damaged, to say nothing of the credibility of this agency.””
– The New York Daily News, "New Emails Show ‘Bridgegate’ Port Authority Appointees Ignored Danger Warnings"
“He’s the kind of leader I can get behind. The kind who says ‘It’s my way, or I shut down your highway!’”
– STEPHEN COLBERT, on Chris Christie, The Colbert Report
I said to him ‘Governor, are we now on your radar?’ And he said something to the effect of, ‘You’ve got your own screen.’”
Fort Lee, NJ mayor MARK SOKOLICH, following his meeting with Gov. Chris Christie, during which he accepted Christie’s apology; Christie previously said Sokolich “wasn’t on my radar” when asked if he’d targeted Sokolich for political retribution.
“On the advice of counsel, I assert my right to remain silent.”
– Shitbag and Chris Christie appointee DAVID WILDSTEIN, in response to the first four questions asked of him during a hearing into the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
During his nearly two-hour press conference, Chris Christie denied knowing, or ever meeting Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich. He was quite emphatic about this.
I guess Gov. Christie forgets easily — in the photo above, Chris Christie is seen speaking with a group of men, including Sokolich, far left. The undated photo was published by WNYC in this December piece.
“I think I’m out of the traffic study business.”
– NJ Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE
“I am who I am, but I am not a bully.”
NJ governor CHRIS CHRISTIE.
Yeah. Only your staffers are, right, gov?
How low can you go? This is insane. It’s the worst example of a petty political vendetta, petty political actions. I’m embarrassed. And congratulations, you’ve just made New Jersey the brunt of every political joke for the next 25 years — again.
… Don’t explain it to me, explain it to the families that were waiting two, three times longer than they had to for first responders to arrive when their loved ones were clutching their chests because they were having either heart attacks or tremendous heart pain. Explain it to the family who was missing a child that the police had to respond to, or explain it to the thousands of families who couldn’t get their kids to school on time on the first day and the ensuing days thereafter. Those are the people that need the explanation, not me.”
Fort Lee, NJ mayor MARK SOKOLICH, reacting to news that a senior aide to NJ governor Chris Christie ordered retaliatory traffic disruptions in his town after Sokolich refused to endorse Christie for re-election.
(via The New York Daily News)
(Photos of Chris Christie appointee to the Port Authority David Wildstein and Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly by Kevin R. Wexler / Monique Lisa Lionetti / The Record via The New York Times)
This is an email from Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly giving the cue to David Wildstein, Governor Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to wreak havoc on traffic patterns at the George Washington Bridge, and in particular in Fort Lee, whose Democratic mayor had refused to endorse Christie for a second term.
Let’s watch Mr. Christie, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney and who has previously denied — repeatedly — that his administration would never partake in such shenanigans, get out of this one. Because BUSTED.
(via The Record)