Former Christie ally to testify in New Jersey 'Bridgegate' probe

Reuters News
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Posted: May 06, 2014 10:01 AM

TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - A former aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is scheduled to testify to a legislative panel on Tuesday about the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal dogging the prominent Republican and likely 2016 presidential contender.

Christina Genovese Renna resigned as the Christie administration's director of intergovernmental affairs in February. She was subpoenaed by the 12-member committee probing who in the governor's office knew about apparently politically motivated traffic jams on roads leading to the busy George Washington Bridge over the Hudson river last year.

Christie, who has denied any knowledge of the scheme, has seen his approval among voters drop since the scandal erupted last December.

Renna is expected to testify to the legislative panel on Tuesday about her relationship with Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Christie adviser who wrote a now-infamous email saying it was "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

The move came in an apparent act of political retribution to Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, who refused to support Christie's re-election bid.

In a trove of subpoenaed documents and emails obtained by the legislative panel, Renna relayed a message to Kelly saying that Sokolich was "extremely upset" about the traffic jams in his town saying first responders were being delayed getting to emergencies.

In addition to the state probe, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey is looking into whether a federal law was broken in the traffic scheme.

After the scandal broke, Christie fired Kelly and parted ways with former campaign manager Bill Stepien. David Wildstein, a Christie appointee at the Port Authority who has been accused of orchestrating the scheme, resigned from the agency last year and is seeking immunity in the probe.

(Reporting by Daniel Kelley; Writing by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Scott Malone and Sofina Mirza-Reid)