Filing in Port Authority suit sheds light on Christie role
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who pleaded guilty in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal describes Gov. Chris Christie in a court filing as using the agency to achieve political ends.
David Wildstein is named in a lawsuit brought by former Port Authority police official Jerry Speziale, who claims he was retaliated against for reporting misconduct. Wildstein pleaded guilty last month to orchestrating the September 2013 lane closings, which he said were intended to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election.
Two former Christie allies, including his former deputy of chief staff, face criminal charges.
In the court filing made Friday in answer to questions posed by Speziale, Wildstein described a meeting in which Christie allegedly pushed for Speziale, a Democrat, to be hired by the Port Authority to prevent his re-election as Passaic County sheriff so a Republican could win the race.
"Christie told Wildstein and the others that he wanted to get Speziale to drop his re-election bid to help Republicans win the post, and to get Speziale's campaign war chest out of the race," the filing said.
Wildstein also claimed in the filing that Christie, a former U.S. attorney, divulged information about grand jury testimony, a potential violation of the law. Christie's office denied the allegation Monday.
"This is just the latest legal jockeying in yet another legal proceeding involving Mr. Wildstein, but one thing should be made clear: Anyone suggesting the Governor disclosed grand jury information is either lying or mistaken," Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said in an email.
Attorneys for Wildstein and Speziale didn't return messages Monday.
The New York Times first reported on Wildstein's filing Monday.
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