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Ear to the Ground

Chris Christie ‘Embarrassed and Humiliated’ by Staff Stunt

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Posted on Jan 9, 2014
AP/Mel Evans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks about the bridge-closure kerfuffle during a news conference Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a public apology Thursday, offering that he was “embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my staff” in the aftermath of a scandal involving certain of his staffers closing off access lanes onto a highly trafficked bridge in an ill-advised political power move.

Among the aides Christie punished for the stunt is now-former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, who was out of a job by the time the governor gave his mea culpa speech, and Bill Stepien, who managed Christie’s campaign last year and apparently won’t be pursuing the state party chairman position.

Here’s more from The Washington Post:

“I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey,” Christie said at a packed news conference. “I apologize to the people of Fort Lee, and I apologize to the state legislature.”

Christie spoke a day after the publication of a series of e-mails and text messages showed that his Kelly and two appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed a pair of access lanes from Fort Lee onto the George Washington Bridge into New York, causing days of gridlock and mayhem in the Fort Lee area in September.

Christie’s Port Authority appointees, Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, both close political associates, resigned in December as the uproar surrounding the closures grew louder.

The Garden State’s governor also said he didn’t know about the bridge plan at the time but wasn’t impressed by his aides’ antics: “I am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here,” he said.

Click here for a quick primer about “Bridge-Gate.”

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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