News

NJ Lawmakers Investigating GWB Lane Closure Scandal Express Skepticism Over Coming Report

FILE - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

FILE – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The head of a New Jersey legislative panel investigating a political payback plot says a review undertaken by Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyers lacks credibility because information from key players in the operation is missing.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski said the lack of cooperation from ex-aides Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien raises questions about the thoroughness of the report due out soon.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, a report on the internal review of the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal seems to indicate the governor knew nothing about the lane closures.

But State Sen. Loretta Weinberg said she isn’t sure.

“I think we’ll be reading the report with a little skepticism,” she told Haskell.

Weinberg said she wonders if the governor is being more cooperative with his hand-picked investigator than with the legislative panel.

“We have gotten some documents from the office of the governor. Certainly, to my knowledge, not his personal email or his personal cell phone,” she told Haskell.

Randy Mastro, the lawyer hired by Christie to lead the review, told The New York Times Monday that the governor handed over his iPhone and permitted his email accounts to be searched.

The paper reported that the review will clear Christie of involvement in the plot to manufacture traffic jams in Fort Lee, apparently to punish the town’s mayor for not endorsing Christie.

Wisniewski said he sees the leak of the report as spin.

“It seems to be a desperate attempt by the governor and Randy Mastro to change the narrative here to say ‘there’s nothing more to look at here, folks. Move on,'” he told Haskell.

Weinberg said she thinks the leak of the report is part of a public relations campaign launched by the governor’s office.

The chain of events started with Kelly’s email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Kelly wasn’t interviewed by investigators and was never questioned by Christie, Haskell reported.

“Why didn’t he just ask Bridget Kelly directly. We would not have to hire attorneys, we would have all the documents,” Weinberg said.

Criminal and civil investigations are ongoing.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories


(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)