The highest-ranking aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to testify before lawmakers about the traffic jam plot that has ensnared the administration said Monday he doesn’t know who ordered the scheme or why.
O’Dowd had been Christie’s initial pick to be the state’s attorney general, but the nomination stalled because of the scandal. Christie said on Monday that he retains confidence in O’Dowd and would re-nominate him.
O’Dowd said that on Dec. 12, months after the lane closings, Christie instructed him to ask his aide, Bridget Kelly, whether she was involved. O’Dowd said he “trusted and believed” Kelly when she assured him she was not.
The next morning she produced an email from the last day the lanes were closed in which Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich complained about the traffic jams and raised the possibility of political payback. O’Dowd showed Christie a copy of the email.
The governor held a news conference later that day denying that anyone on his staff had a role in the scheme.