TRENTON - Drivers who say they were negatively impacted by being stuck in traffic in Fort Lee last September because of the bridge closures shared their stories Tuesday.
Members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the Working Families Alliance sponsored a news conference near the base of the bridge, and presented a petition asking for Gov. Chris Christie to resign if it is found that he was involved in the closures. The groups have so far collected more than 14,000 signatures on that petition.
"Every morning that week, we were paralyzed by cars, trucks," says Robert Tessaro, of Fort Lee. "Emergency vehicles couldn't get through. We couldn't get our daughter to day care."
At least a dozen new subpoenas have been authorized by a New Jersey legislative committee investigating the plot by aides to Gov. Christie to create gridlock by blocking traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge.
Text messages and emails reveal former members of Christie's administration and Port Authority officials masterminded the blockage allegedly for political retribution. Gov. Christie denies having any prior knowledge of the plan.
"There was a culture in his office that allowed the people working for him to think what they were doing was acceptable," says Rob Duffey, of the Working Families Alliance.
The legislative panel also agreed Monday to take additional steps to enforce subpoenas to two key figures in the bridge scandal that is engulfing the administration of the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate.
Former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and fired deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly have asserted their right against self-incrimination and refused to comply with the document subpoenas.
The panel voted along party lines to reject those objections and continue to seek most of the documents.
Meanwhile, six Bergen County taxi companies and a number of individuals claim they lost time and money because of the lane closures and are suing for compensation.