New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, second left, arrives at Fort Lee, N.J., City Hall, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Christie traveled to Fort Lee to apologize in person to Mayor Mark Sokolich. Moving quickly to contain a widening political scandal, Gov. Chris Christie fired one of his top aides Thursday and apologized repeatedly for the “abject stupidity” of his staff, insisting he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams to get even with a Democratic mayor. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Officials squabbled over media leaks and worried about bad publicity in the days after lane closings near the George Washington Bridge caused huge traffic jams that now appear to have been politically orchestrated by a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration and key allies, documents released Friday show.
In the documents, officials appointed by Christie seemed more concerned about the political fallout than the effects of the gridlock in the town of Fort Lee during four mornings in September.
The thousands of pages were released by a New Jersey legislative committee investigating the scandal, which could haunt Christie’s expected run for president in 2016. The documents mostly involve the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs the bridge.
Lawmakers are looking into allegations that Christie loyalists engineered the tie-ups to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election.
The documents show that the traffic mess created tension between New York and New Jersey appointees at the Port Authority, with the New York side angrily countermanding the lane closings.
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