Author Topic: Former NJ official in bridge scandal pleads fifth amendment  (Read 234 times)

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Former NJ official in bridge scandal pleads fifth amendment
« on: January 09, 2014, 01:56:01 PM »

January 09, 2014, 01:28 pm
Former NJ official in bridge scandal pleads fifth amendment

By Keith Laing

Former New Jersey Port Authority official David Wildstein took the fifth amendment during a state legislature hearing about allegations he closed lanes on the most heavily-used bridge in the country in act of political retribution for the Christie administration.

Wildstein was called to testify before the New Jersey General Assembly’s Transportation Committee a day after emails were released showing he discussed closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey to New York City, with a high-ranking administration official to Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.).

Christie’s administration is accused of ordering Wildstein to close the bridge lanes in response to the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., declining to endorse the governor’s bid for re-election last year.

Wildstein declined repeated to answer questions from New Jersey state lawmakers about his role in the bridge lane closure discussions on Thursday.

“On the advice of counsel, I assert my right to remain silent,” he said in response to multiple questions.

Wildstein had previously sought to convince a state judge to invalidate a subpoena from the New Jersey legislative committee, but the request was denied.

Christie announced during a marathon news conference on Thursday that he fired the aide, Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, who had been emailing with Wildstein.

Christie is widely thought to be a likely 2016 presidential candidate, but national Democrats have seized upon the bridge allegations to dent his image as a bipartisan consensus-builder.

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