Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gwb Panel Looks to Get Insider's View of Christie Office

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gwb Panel Looks to Get Insider's View of Christie Office

Article excerpt

A former aide in Governor Christie's office is scheduled to appear before lawmakers today at the first in the latest series of hearings as the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures continues.

Christina Renna is expected to answer questions about her job as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, a section within the governor's office where staff volunteered to secure Democratic endorsements for Christie's reelection bid last year. Renna worked under Bridget Anne Kelly, the deputy chief of staff Christie fired after The Record first reported that she sent the now infamous email, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," setting into motion access lane closures in an apparent act of political retribution against the Fort Lee mayor.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, co-chairwoman of the committee, said Monday that the panel is trying to determine what the atmosphere in Christie's office was at the time of the lane closures.

Renna is the first of five witnesses being called before the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee in its latest round of subpoenas to answer questions about documents she turned over to the panel.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, co-chairman of the committee, said Renna would also be asked about remarks she made to a team of attorneys Christie hired to lead an internal investigation into his office's involvement in the lane closures. The attorneys from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher released summaries of the 75 interviews last month at the request of the legislative panel.

Renna told the internal investigators that her office would receive "mandatory directives" of mayors they should not call or check in with. She said she did not know of an instance where it rose to the level of lane closures, but said not returning calls "was enough to send a message to the local elected official."

She said intergovernmental affairs staff volunteered at Christie's campaign headquarters in Bridgewater on Wednesdays and participated in weekend calls with campaign staff. …

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