Recently, a report came out about the alleged Bridgegate scandal and said that Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, did not take part in the scandal at all.
The Bridgegate scandal was that a group of government officials conspired to block traffic to the George Washington Bridge so people would be unable to go to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The traffic blockage was attributable to the fact that the Fort Lee, NJ mayor had not endorsed Christie when he last ran for the governorship.
One of the Bridgegate questions was whether Chris Christie knew about this scheme to block traffic or not.
David Wildstein, an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that Christie did know the traffic blockage was happening on the day that they occurred. The blockage happened last September 11th.
Chris Christie claims that he did not hear about Bridgegate until months later.
The report says that Christe nor any current member of his member schemed to do the traffic blockage. They allegedly knew nothing about the scheme.
The blame for this scheme focuses on Mr. Wildstein as well as Bridget Anne Kelly, a Christie”s chief of staff. They were the only ones who conspired to do the traffic blockage. Kelly actually was trying to stop people from finding out her role in the scheme.
Last December, chief of staff to Christie asked her about her involvement in the traffic blockage. Her reaction was to ask her aide to get rid of an email that would have incriminated her. The email supposedly showed that Kelly loved the fact that the traffic blockage had made the Fort Lee, NJ mayor angry. The aide did delete the email, but made a copy before getting rid of it digitally
The person responsible for this report was a former federal prosecutor who goes by the name of Randy M. Mastro.
The report by Mastro enters soap opera territory by saying that Kelly’s judgment in this situation may have been affected by her break-up with an adviser to Christie. The report cites no evidence on how this break-up could have affected her judgment.
This report sets up a situation where there is a conflict between Wildstein and Christie about happened last September 11th. Wildstein insists that Christie knew everything about the traffic blockage and will testify before federal and local officials about what he believes happened on September 11th. This report and Christie insist the he knew nothing about the traffic blockage, even though he has insisted in the past he was a hands-on governor.
Even though Mastro s quite positive about Christie’s non-role in the scandal, he does think that the governor should make some changes in how he runs his office. An ombudsman position should be created to regain the trust of the people. Christie’s staff should be trained by an ethics officer. The office that was called an intergovernmental affairs office should be gotten rid of. It was the office that happened to be run by Kelly.
This report is certainly not the end of Bridgegate.
By Tom Clark