Ex-Official Testifies on Bridgegate [AUDIO]
In January, Christina Renna resigned from the IGA office after she was subpoenaed by the committee. Renna's boss was Bridget Kelly, who was fired as Christie's deputy chief of staff after the governor learned that she sent the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email.
Renna is not accused of any wrongdoing. SCI co-chair and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) said she hopes Renna can give the committee a look inside the Christie administration.
Renna told the committee she had no knowledge or involvement in a political payback plot related to last September's closing of approach lanes in Fort Lee at the George Washington Bridge. However, she described Kelly as being angry at one point after learning that Fort Lee's Democratic mayor had been granted a meeting with the IGA.
"This is a beginning of a phase where we're trying to find out what was the atmosphere that was set up, the environment that this administration worked under," Weinberg said. "Certainly, learning more about the IGA, I think we'll start opening a window to that."
The Bridgegate scandal has been dogging Christie for months and some feel it is threatening any chance he may have of running for president in 2016. The governor launched an internal investigation and the team of lawyers he hired produced a report that cleared Christie of any wrongdoing. That report is viewed by many with skepticism.
In September, access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee were closed without prior notice, snarling traffic for four days. Some Democrats believe this was done to punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Christie's re-election.
In response to a question from Democratic committee co-chair John S. Wisniewski, Renna said Kelly would keep her advised of "mayors we were not conducting pro-active outreach with" but said there was no "list" of such mayors.
On the same day Kelly was fired, Christie cut ties with his two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien, after Stepien's involvement in the scandal became clear.
In April, a judge ruled that Kelly and Stepien do not have turn over subpoenaed documents to the SCI. Both successfully argued that doing so would infringe on their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.