Damning Details From 2000+ Pages Of ‘Bridgegate’ Documents Released Friday
A portfolio of documents subpoenaed by the New Jersey Assembly’s Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee during the process of investigating the scandal now known as “Bridgegate” has been posted to the committee’s Web site (in pdf format).“Exhibit A” alone contains over 900 pages.
Guardian UK focuses on one e-mail sent just hours into the George Washington Bridge lane closures:
Senior officials connected to the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, were warned on the first day of the notorious lane closures over the George Washington bridge that the resulting gridlock was causing problems for police and emergency medical workers, but pressed on with the policy for another three days. …
“Wanted you both have a heads up,” says the email, from a communications official. The borough administrator of Fort Lee had called to say that amid the increased congestion in the town “there were 2 incidents that Ft Lee PD [police department] and EMS [emergency medical services] had difficulty responding to; a missing child (later found) and a cardiac arrest.”
On Thursday it emerged that paramedics complained that they had been unable to reach a 91-year-old female resident of Fort Lee, who later died in hospital.
Talking Points Memo summarizes one of the most damaging documents found so far in today’s dump:
New Jersey Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye wrote an impassioned email to the general manager of the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 13, arguing that lane closures that spiraled into a major scandal this week were illegal.
Foye’s email, addressed to Robert Durando and other Port Authority officials, fumed that he was not included in the decision, which he said was damaging the public safety and the economy. He ordered that it be reversed.
Mother Jones features an e-mail message concerning a possible liability nightmare – police officers having to direct traffic instead of responding to emergencies:
On September 9, the first day of the traffic problems, Robert Durando, the Port Authority’s general manager of the George Washington Bridge, wrote to Cedrick Fulton, the Port Authority’s director of tunnels, bridges and terminals: “Traffic conditions required Ft Lee police to remain out on corners, managing traffic instead of attending to public safety issues.”
The email is more evidence of the public safety consequences of September’s traffic jams.
The same e-mail from Foye also contained this paragraph:
“This hasty and ill-advised decision has resulted in delays to emergency vehicles. I pray that no life has been lost or trip of a hospital-or hospice-bound patient delayed.”
A preliminary survey of the documents also show New Jersey Port Authority executives, including David Wildstein, bristling at press reports on the traffic jams associated with their so-called “traffic study”. Others show that New York Port Authority were furious at New Jersey officials over a failure to inform them of the controversial lane closings on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. Many of the emails originated with Christie’s aides, including Wildstein and Bridget Anne Kelly.