U.S. News


Ex-Christie Aide: Kelly 'Instrumental' In Lane Closures

Christina Renna told state lawmakers her former boss, Bridget Kelly, played some part in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Posted at 7:37 PM, May 06, 2014

A former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told state lawmakers Tuesday she didn't have a hand in the alleged plan to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September. But she accused her boss, another former aide, of being "instrumental" in the process. 

Christina Renna, who worked in the Office of Intergovermental Affairs, said during a sworn testimony her former boss, Bridgette Kelly, asked her to delete an e-mail about Fort Lee and the lane closures sometime in December. And she did so because she feared for her job. (Via News 12 New Jersey)

RENNA: "I clarified. I said, 'You want me to delete the e-mail?' I said that to her. She said, 'Yes. Listen, I'm getting a lot of questions and I'm just really nervous." (Via Fox News)

For reference, Kelly is the one who sent the now infamous e-mail reading, "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" — the city affected by those lane closures for days back in September. Some believe the intentional traffic jam was punishment for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich not endorsing Christie's re-election campaign. (Via WCBS, CNN)

In her testimony, Renna said her office was "amazingly nonpartisan" and said Kelly could, at times, be a good manager. But Renna also painted a very unfavorable picture of Kelly as someone unable to handle the workload as Christie's deputy chief of staff. 

The New York Times quotes Renna as calling her former boss "insecure," someone who "relied heavily on other people to make decisions for her" and added that Kelly "was enormously overwhelmed and enormously overstressed with day-to-day life." 

According to NorthJersey.com, Renna also said Kelly got upset when she learned a staffer had met with Sokolich following the lane closures. Renna said the office was, at times, unorganized because of Kelly, adding, "Information did not flow downward as it relates to why we weren’t talking to an elected official."

Renna's appearance marks the first time a Christie staffer has testified before the legislative committee investigating the bridge scandal. Kelly has refused to answer questions from that committee.