Port Authority chairman steps down
Port Authority Chairman David Samson has resigned in the wake of the “Bridgegate” scandal that has occupied New Jersey residents since the closure of the George Washington Bridge in August.
Gov. Chris Christie announced Samson’s resignation at a press conference on Friday, according to The New York Times. Many analysts believe the governor forced the action to distance himself from the scandal.
This has affected the governor’s public perception since the release of the 250,000 pages of the documents in January that contained internal communications among Port Authority traffic officials about the traffic study conducted when the bridge’s Fort Lee lanes were closed.
In a report performed after the closure, Samson’s emails seemed more concerned about the political ramifications for Christie than the welfare of trapped drivers, according to The New York Times.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey control the George Washington Bridge and the surrounding hub of traffic. Samson had previously asked to leave, but Christie asked him to stay, the Times reported.
An internal investigation of the “Bridgegate” scandal said Thursday that Christie was not involved in the scheme, according to The Associated Press. But the commission, headed by a Christie-approved law firm and spearheaded by the administration, has come under question for bias.
The report focused the blame on former Port Authority official David Wildstein and the governor’s former Chief Deputy of Staff, Bridget Anne Kelly.
Wildstein said on Thursday he informed the governor about the lane closure orders at a 9/11 memorial dinner, but Christie denies the conversation.
The motive of the closures is still unclear, the Times reported. The report did not give any speculation about the possible cause of the closures, nor did it interview Samson, who had denied involvement in previous statements.