Bridgegate panel to grill authorities head
The Select Committee on Investigation is scheduled to take testimony Thursday from Regina Egea, director of Gov. Chris Christie's Authorities Unit and the person he wants to take over as his next chief of staff.
This could be the final SCI hearing. The co-chair of the Bridgegate investigative committee, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), has indicated the panel will step aside indefinitely as the U.S. Attorney's Office continues its probe into the unannounced lane closures at the George Washington Bridge last September.
"We hope to walk away with more answers to the questions that have thus far eluded being answered," Wisniewski said.
Panel members, he said, still want to know who truly ordered the lane closures that led to massive traffic jams in Fort Lee. He said they want to why the lanes were closed and how deep into the Christie administration the scandal goes.
According to Wisniewski, the committee is interested in hearing from Egea because immediately after Port Authority executive director Pat Foye sent an email demanding that the lanes be re-opened, the email was forwarded to Egea by former Port Authority deputy director Bill Baroni.
"We're looking for direct answers, we expect direct answers," Wisniewski said. "We called her because we expect that she has a level of information that will be useful to the committee. We certainly are hoping that she will be cooperative. We are hoping that she will provide us information that we have yet to obtain."
In September, access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed without advance warning, which jammed up traffic for hours over a four-day period. Democrats feel the lanes might have been ordered closed as political payback to Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Christie's re-election.
The governor has denied any involvement in those lane closures, and a law firm he hired to investigate cleared him of any wrongdoing.