Commuters Sue Christie Over Bridge Jams

Port Authority 'sociopath' took 1st-hand look at chaos
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2014 2:05 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2014 7:56 AM CST
Commuters Sue Christie Over Bridge Jams
The tollbooth lanes, lower left, lead to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Yet more "Bridgegate" trouble for Chris Christie: Six New Jersey commuters affected by the traffic scandal have filed a federal class-action suit against the governor, senior aide Bridget Anne Kelly, and the Port Authority, reports the New York Post. All claim they either got to work late or didn't make it there at all between Sept. 9 and 12. "This was just a reprehensible, outrageous situation caused by political motivation," says their lawyer, noting that one of her clients had a panic attack amid the gridlock.

  • The controversy will have many days in court ahead, with New Jersey Democrats vowing to subpoena everybody mentioned in emails about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. The US attorney for New Jersey has opened a preliminary inquiry, though some legal experts doubt the scandal could result in criminal charges, the New York Times finds.

  • The New York Daily News has more on Bridget Anne Kelly, the top Christie aide fired for ordering the lane closures. The top adviser, a 41-year-old mother of four, was known for her low-key style, and the abrupt end to her once-promising political career has stunned many. "The administration doing this doesn’t surprise me. Bridget Kelly—that does surprise me," says the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
  • Christie appointee David Wildstein of the Port Authority, who stayed silent when questioned by state lawmakers yesterday, relished his role in the scandal and actually drove over to have a first-hand look at the traffic chaos, sources tell the Daily News. "Wildstein is a sociopath," one source says.
  • More details could come out today, with 907 pages of documents related to the case set to be released by the state assembly, CNN reports. As NBC News points out, there are still quite a few unanswered questions about the incident, and the documents could shed light on those.
  • One of those questions: What started this? Though the supposed reason is that the Fort Lee mayor refused to endorse Christie for governor, many are suspicious of that considering Christie didn't ask for or need his endorsement—and no other mayor who refused to endorse Christie was "punished," The Wire notes. Rachel Maddow's theory, offered up last night, is that the whole thing was actually sparked by a feud between Christie and Democrats in the state Senate having to do with New Jersey Supreme Court justice appointments. It started in 2010; details here.
  • Jon Stewart, meanwhile, took aim the scandal for the second night running on the Daily Show, reports. The New Jersey native dubbed Christie's apologetic two-hour press conference the "Never Ending Sorry" and mocked the governor's attempt to both deny and accept responsibility. "The buck stops at my desk! And I swear to God I have never seen this buck before."
Meanwhile, the family of a 91-year-old woman who died amid the gridlock isn't blaming slow ambulances for her death. (More Chris Christie stories.)

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