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Lawyers: Internal review clears Gov. Chris Christie

A law firm hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to review the "Bridgegate" scandal has found no evidence of wrongdoing by the governor.
By Frances Burns   |   March 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM
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A law firm hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to review the "Bridgegate" scandal has found no evidence of wrongdoing by the governor, the New York Times reports.

Christie has pledged to release the review promptly. The Times said it obtained an overview of its findings from people with knowledge of the contents.

The internal review was carried out at a cost to the state of at least $1 million by the New York firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which has close ties to Christie. But Randy M. Mastro, the lawyer who headed the investigation, said his team was directed to conduct it honestly.

At the end of the day, we will be judged by whether we got this right,” Mastro said.

Fort Lee, at the New Jersey end of the George Washington Bridge, suffered four days of snarled traffic in September after Christie appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed access lanes. Bridget Kelly, the governor's former deputy chief of staff, has been linked to the snafu by emails that suggest the closings were political payback against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, but the governor has denied any knowledge of her actions.

After the Bridgegate scandal exploded, Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken, N.J., charged the Christie administration threatened to deny aid to the city, hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, unless she expedited a development project. The review covered Zimmer's allegations as well.

The review involved 70 interviews and other evidence, including Christie's iPhone and telephone records. But Kelly, Bill Stepien, who served as Christie's campaign manager last year, and David Wildstein, who resigned from the Port Authority after the scandal broke, declined to be interviewed.

A legislative committee and the U.S. attorney's office are also investigating Bridgegate. The scandal appears to have derailed Christie's status as a leading Republican presidential contender in 2016.

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