Tempers Flare at Bridgegate Hearing
Tempers flared during Tuesday’s third hearing of the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, charged with probing the Bridgegate scandal.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), the panel’s co-chair gave an opening statement and was followed by a Republican member who pushed the panel to consider reforms to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. That led to a heated exchange, but not before Wisniewski brought the committee up-to-date.
“It’s only because of the meticulous work that was patiently done that we followed the evidence that led us into the governor’s office,” Wisniewski said. “Having arrived there it would be a disservice to ourselves and to the people of this state if we did not pursue this investigation to its conclusion.
According to Wisniewski, many questions remain unanswered in the Bridgegate scandal; Why were access lanes closed in Fort Lee leading to the George Washington Bridge? How far does the scandal go? Who was the chief culprit?
Assemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Belford) wanted the committee to consider legislation to reform the Port Authority. Wisniewski dismissed that and accused her of showboating. State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Wayne) then defended Handlin and got into a heated back and forth with Wisniewski before the panel retreated to a closed door session.
The SCI did not issue any subpoenas Tuesday, but the co-chairs said that the committee has given the law firm that conducted the Christie’s administration’s internal investigation until Friday to produce documents related to that probe. If the information is not provided, a new subpoena could be issued to either the law firm Gibson-Dunn or Gov. Chris Christie’s office.