Chris Christie may be resigning after reports that his office forced the closure of the George Washington Bridge in September on purpose, leading to traffic snarls that slowed emergency response teams.
The actions were reportedly taken to punish a town whose mayor did not support Christie’s re-election bid. Reports said the traffic jams delayed four emergency calls, including one in which a woman later died, although officials said her death was likely unpreventable.
The scandal has already claimed the job of Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff who engineered the lane closures after writing in an email: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Reports from sources close to the governor’s office say that Chris Christie may be resigning as well.
The Daily Kos, a left-leaning blog, noted on Wednesday:
“Anonymous sources are now indicating that Chris Christie may be resigning Thursday. He has now gone into hiding and in damage control and will not speak to the press.”
But at least part of that prediction has already proven false. Christie did indeed address the media on Thursday, claiming that Kelly lied to him about her actions but still apologizing.
“I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey,” Christie said at a press conference in Trenton. “I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.”
Chris Christie still had more apologies to make. Later on Thursday, he planned to personally visit Fort Lee, which is across the river from New York City, to apologize to residents and Mayor Mark Sokolich.
Though rare, a governor resigning is not unheard of. New Jersey’s neighbor in New York saw Governor Eliot Spitzer resign in 2008 after an investigation linked him to a high-priced escort.
Even if Chris Christie does not resign, there could be more trouble on the way. The New Jersey Attorney General is reportedly launching an investigation into the lane closures.