Chris Christie apologized in a press conference today after emails between his staff members were released that showed they arranged traffic jams around New Jersey as revenge on the mayor for not backing Christie for re-election.
Governor Christie claims he had no knowledge of the plans–which included closing down several lanes near the George Washington Bridge last September, backing up traffic into the town of Fort Lee–and says he will fire Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly because she lied to him about it.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” wrote Kelly in an email to a Port Authority appointee David Wildstein. A few weeks later, two of the three lanes between the George Washington Bridge and Fort Lee were closed for four days, causing gridlock and frustration among commuters.
One of the major issues with the traffic jam was the fact that it delayed medical professionals from getting to people who needed help, including a 91-year old woman who died because no one could reach her in time. There were reportedly at least four other medical emergencies that were impacted because of traffic delays.
Christie issued a statement earlier this week about Kelly’s actions, promising that people would be held responsible for the chaos that ensued as a result of Kelly’s decisions.
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge. One thing is clear: this type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions,” he said in the statement.
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