Christie Chief of Staff Subpoenaed in Bridgegate Probe
Kevin O’Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, has been subpoenaed by the state legislature’s joint Bridgegate committee and is expected to testify Monday. O’Dowd’s nomination to become State Attorney General has been on hold since the scandal broke in January.
“This subpoena is a necessary step in the committee’s bipartisan investigation into the lane closings and apparent abuse of government power and threat to public safety,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) in a joint statement. The two co-chair the Select Committee on Investigation. “Mr. O’Dowd is in a unique position to provide insight into what happened under his watch as chief of staff to the governor. We look forward to his cooperation and testimony.”
The hearing is scheduled to take place Monday, June 9 in committee room 11 of the State Annex beginning at 10:30am.
If he appears as expected, O’Dowd will be the fifth witness to provide sworn testimony to the SCI. Previous witnesses were Michael Drewniak, Christie’s press secretary, Christina Renna, a former Christie staffer, Matt Mowers, another former Christie aide and William “Pat” Schuber, a commissioner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Thus far the SCI has been unable to link the governor to the unannounced access lane closures at the George Washington Bridge. Top Democrats believe the lanes were ordered closed to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse the governor’s reelection bid. Christie has denied any involvement and an internal probe he commissioned cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Members of the SCI want to determine who knew what and when. As chief of staff to the governor, O’Dowd could shed some light on the issue.
“The committee will continue to follow the facts so that the people of New Jersey get the answers they deserve,” Weinberg and Wisniewski wrote.