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More Subpoenas Likely In George Washington Bridge Lane Closure Investigation

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George Washington Bridge (file/credit: CBS 2)

George Washington Bridge (file/credit: CBS 2)

NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork/AP) — Additional subpoenas are likely to be issued in connection with the investigation into why an appointee of Gov. Chris Christie ordered lanes approaching the George Washington Bridge closed for several days.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski said his office is examining about 5,000 documents from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its top two state appointees.

The documents were provided as a result of subpoenas issued earlier this month, but they only tell part of the story, Wisniewski said.  He said other documents may be needed to fill in the gaps.

In September, two inbound lanes of the George Washington Bridge were closed without warning, causing gridlock at the mouth of the span in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

The lanes remained closed for four days until Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye ordered them reopened.

The lane closures not only prompted state and federal investigations, but also forced the resignation of Christie’s top two Port Authority deputies — childhood friend David Wildstein and former state Sen. Bill Baroni.

Democrats have suggested that the closings were carried out by a loyalist of Gov. Chris Christie because Fort Lee’s mayor declined to endorse the governor for re-election.  Christie has denied the accusations.

Wisniewski said he is trying to determine how high up the chain of command the authorization went and how such an abuse of power could have occurred.

Wisniewski was granted subpoena power to investigate the Port Authority before the scandal broke, but he will lose that authority when the Legislature reorganizes on Jan. 14.

The lawmaker has said he plans to prefile paperwork to renew his authority to subpoena documents and witnesses in order to continue the investigation.

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