The internal review of the George Washington Bridge lane closures has found Gov. Chris Christie was not involved. Attorney Randy Mastro discussed the report and its findings with reporters today.
Mastro said that Christie knew early on that Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich wasn’t going to endorse him in his bid for reelection and that he wasn’t a part of the decision to close lanes. He added that Christie fired staff members once he learned about their involvement.
According to Mastro, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s claims that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Sandy aid if she didn’t support a specific project was “demonstrably false.”
Mastro also relayed that the report recommends a restructuring of the Port Authority.
Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno released a statement regarding the findings about Zimmer’s allegations, which had named her. “When I addressed the allegations made by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer in January, I categorically denied them as false and illogical. I also stated that my position would be borne out by a full evaluation of the facts. Now, after an exhaustive review, it is clear that Mayor Zimmer’s allegations do not stand up to scrutiny, and in truth, are demonstrably false based on contemporaneous documents, other witness accounts, and her own prior statement(s), all contained in the report. In fact, Mayor Zimmer’s version of events was and is fictional,” Guadagno said.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick hopes officials can move on to other issues now. “This is more evidence that Gov. Christie had no involvement. We should now move forward with our legislative reforms. Assembly Republicans are ready to advance the proposals made by Assemblywoman Handlin that reform the Port Authority and other bi-state agencies,” he said in a statement.
Legislative Select Committee on Investigation Co-Chairs, Assemblyman John Wisniewski and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, released a statement after the press conference saying the internal review won’t be the last word on the issue.
“Lawyers hired by and paid by the Christie administration itself to investigate the governor’s office who then say the governor and most of his office did nothing wrong will not be the final word on this matter. The people of New Jersey need a full accounting of what happened. This review has deficiencies that raise questions about a lack of objectivity and thoroughness. We will continue to pursue our investigation wherever the facts lead. We want a full accounting of the lane closings and any related abuses of power and what can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the statement read.
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