Governor Blasts Committee Over Leaks To Media, Wants It To Wrap Up Probe


TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s growing tired of the joint legislative committee investigating lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Christie on Thursday blasted the committee for leaked documents to the media. He accused its members of being more interested in getting their names in the newspapers and on television, and he urged them to finish up their work.

“These are people who are addicted to MSNBC and the front page of your papers,” Christie told reporters in Trenton. “They’ve been irresponsible, and the leadership of the committee has been irresponsible in permitting this stuff to happen.”

The remarks were some of Christie’s harshest yet against the committee, which includes both Republicans and Democrats.

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing,” the governor said.

Christie also brought up his complaints on his radio show Thursday night.

“I don’t want to repeat myself from what I said this afternoon, except to say I think it’s unseemly, the leaking that’s been going on,” he said.

Committee co-chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski says the governor’s office has not turned over some documents the panel has requested, violating its pledge to cooperate fully.

“We have fully cooperated, and I’m really growing tired of him (Wisniewski),” Christie said, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.

Wisniewski said the leaks do not impact the committee’s work.

Christie, a possible presidential candidate in 2016, said interview memos were leaked to the press while he was in Mexico recently.

Documents first obtained by CBS 2 earlier this month showed 11 Port Authority police officers on duty at the George Washington Bridge during the lane closures in September 2013 had safety concerns.

Attorney Dan Bibb, who works for the union representing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officers, said one officer, Steve Pisciotta, reported that he “used a police radio to report that the severe traffic was creating hazardous conditions. He further requested that the cones come down and that Fort Lee lanes be reopened.”

But when he got a response on his police radio, Pisciotta was told to “shut up” by Deputy Inspector Darcy Licorish, according to the lawyer. Bibb said Pisciotta told him that Lt. Thomas “Chip” Michaels and a sergeant visited him “to tell him that his radio communication had been inappropriate.”

Pisciotta was also instructed that “there could be no further discussion of lane closures on the air,” according to Bibb.

The lane closures appear to be part of a political retribution plot against Fort Lee Mark Sokolich, who did not support Christie’s re-election bid last year. Christie, however, has denied having any knowledge of the lane closures before they happened.

The governor fired Bridget Kelly, his deputy chief of staff, over the scandal. His Port Authority appointee, David Wildstein, resigned.

Kelly sent an email to Wildstein: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” That message apparently triggered the lane closures.

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