Christie chief of staff next witness in Bridgegate hearings

 Kevin O'Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, is scheduled to testify Monday before the New Jersey legislative panel investigating Bridgegate. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Kevin O'Dowd, chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, is scheduled to testify Monday before the New Jersey legislative panel investigating Bridgegate. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Gov. Chris Christie’s Chief of Staff will be questioned Monday by the New Jersey legislative committee investigating lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Kevin O’Dowd, who has been subpoenaed to testify, is in a unique position to provide insight into who hatched the lane closure plans and how they unfolded, according to Assemblyman John Wisniewki, co-chairman of the Legislature’s Select Committee on Investigation.

“We need to understand specifically who gave Bridget Kelly the order to close the lane and what did they hope to accomplish by doing it,” said Wisniewski, D-Middlesex. “So far, we don’t have that answer. But we hope by continuing to ask questions, we’ll get closer to getting the truth.”

But Assemblywoman Amy Handlin believes it’s unlikely that the committee will learn anything from O’Dowd to help it develop legislation to make reforms at the agency that operates the bridge.

“The pattern, thus far, has been that everyone who comes in to talk to the committee and has no knowledge of the dysfunction at the Port Authority does not help us in anyway to understand how Bridgegate came about,” said Handlin, R-Monmouth.

How O’Dowd handles the questions at the hearing could determine whether the Senate will confirm him to be New Jersey’s next attorney general.

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