Lane-closure inquiry won’t derail government business, N.J. Senate leader vows

 N.J. Senate President Steve Sweeney (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

N.J. Senate President Steve Sweeney (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

The George Washington Bridge scandal may have an impact on the New Jersey Legislature’s response to Christie administration proposals.

While the investigation of the bridge lane closures will be a distraction, it won’t derail efforts to work with Gov. Chris Christie to reach a compromise on major issues, said state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

“The chips will fall where they will, and whoever was responsible will be held accountable,” he said Monday. “But as for today, the governor is the governor and I’m the Senate president, and we’re going to continue to work.”

Meanwhile, there’s no indication when the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Christie’s nomination of his chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd, to be New Jersey’s attorney general.

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Committee chairman Nick Scutari said O’Dowd assured him he had no role in the bridge scandal.

“I’ve personally spoken to him. He’s assured me he’s had no role in this,” Scutari said. “But, obviously, we have a constitutional duty to get to the bottom of who knew what, why it was done, when it was done, what steps were taken if any to keep from getting to the light of the citizens of New Jersey and to the press.”

Because O’Dowd was the supervisor of Bridget Anne Kelly, the assistant chief of staff who was involved in what’s being called “Bridgegate,” lawmakers want to know what he knew about it and when he knew it.

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