‘Bridgegate’ documents reveal ‘cavalier’ misuse of power, investigator says

While there are no bombshells in newly released portions of documents subpoenaed in the George Washington Bridge scandal, one of the lawmakers leading an investigation said they show a “cavalier” attitude.

The documents show former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein and the governor’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly had a juvenile attitude about their official responsibilities and joked about their authority to create traffic, said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, co-chairman of the New Jersey Legislature’s investigation committee.

“They expressed some gallows humor about potentially being fired, but it seems like they really felt comfortable in talking about how they utilize their authority to apparently get back at people, which is disturbing,” he said.

The documents demonstrate a clear need to change the atmosphere at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Wisniewski said.

“It speaks to the need to reform this agency because we don’t want to have the ability of people in a similar position in the future to think that this is part of their job,” he said.

The committee has a lot more work to do.

“We only have a minority of the documents in now. There are still literally thousands more pages that we have not yet received,” he said. “Two of the key individuals in this episode, Miss Kelly and (Bill) Stepien, both are fighting the committee subpoena in court. We won’t have an answer on that until at least March 11.”

Lawmakers want to know who gave Bridget Kelly the authorization to send an email that led to the lane closures on bridge — and the subsequent four-day traffic jam, he said.

The newly released documents clear up some of the minor mysteries in the political payback scandal surrounding Gov. Chris Christie.

The unredacted documents show that the person who joked about feeling “badly about the kids” stuck in the traffic jam was Kelly.

And the person who joked that “they are the children of Buono voters,” referring to Christie’s challenger in last year’s gubernatorial election, was Wildstein.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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