Christie spokesman denies knowledge of 'idiotic' lane closings on George Washington Bridge

Michael Drewniak, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's chief spokesman, tells investigative committee he would like to know who was behind the "Bridgegate" scheme.
By Frances Burns  |  May 13, 2014 at 12:34 PM
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TRENTON, N.J., May 13 (UPI) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's press secretary said Tuesday he knew nothing about the "idiotic" lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.

Michael Drewniak testified before a legislative committee investigating the "Bridgegate" scandal. A former reporter for the Star-Ledger of Newark, he became a spokesman for one of Christie's predecessors as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and then worked for Christie.

Access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed for four days in September 2013, causing massive traffic jams in Fort Lee. The closings, supposedly for a traffic study, were allegedly ordered by Christie allies at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to punish the mayor of Fort Lee.

Drewniak, in his opening statement, described the closings as a "strange, unnecessary and idiotic episode." He denied knowing about the closings before the fact and participating in a cover-up afterward.

He said he was angry at Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff and author of a now-infamous e-mail that said "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" and at David Wildstein, the Christie appointee at the Port Authority who ordered the lane closings.

"I, too, would like to know from those who hatched and carried out this scheme just what it was they hoped to accomplish," Drewniak said. "The emails and conduct that became public between David Wildstein and Bridget Kelly also represented a deep betrayal on both personal and professional level."

Kelly allegedly wanted to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich because, unlike some other Democratic mayors, he had refused to endorse the Republican governor's re-election bid last year.

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