News Alert
VIDEO: Jersey Shore Beach Conditions And Traffic

Ex-Port Authority Big Implicated In 'Bridgegate' Refuses To Talk, Charged With Contempt

David Wildstein declined to answer state Assembly committee questions, asserting his Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent.

David Wildstein speaks during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Wildstein, a former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie is refusing to answer questions from a legislative committee looking into the Bridgegate scandal.
David Wildstein speaks during a hearing Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Wildstein, a former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie is refusing to answer questions from a legislative committee looking into the Bridgegate scandal.

Written by Keith Brown and Anthony Bellano

David Wildstein, the former high-raking Port Authority official close to Gov. Chris Christie, was held in contempt Thursday after he refused to answer the questions of a state Assembly committee investigating his role in the manufactured closure of four lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein, who tried unsuccessfully to quash a subpoena requiring him to appear before the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities committee Thursday, declined to answer each question from the committee, asserting his Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent.

Wildstein was held in contempt, opening the possibility for a prosecutor to pursue Wildstein’s refusal to answer as a fourth-degree crime.

At the completion of the hearing, committee Chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski read from the rules governing the committee, which call for the imposition of the misdemeanor if anyone called before the committee refuses to answer the panel's questions.

Wisniewski called for a vote of the committee on whether the committee's questions were pertinent to the investigation. The vote was unanimous.

"Mr. Wildstein, I'm getting the feeling that I'm wasting my time here,'' Wisniewski said about 15 minutes into the hearing.

Wildstein, who resigned after questions about the lane closures intensified, is cited in emails sent from Christie's office calling for the lane closures.

Emails first obtained by The Record show former Deputy Chief of Staff Brigette Anne Kelly told Wildstein that it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” about two weeks before the lanes were closed.

“Got it,” Wildstein replied.

Wildstein's refusal to answer questions came less than an hour after Christie ended a press conference announcing that Kelly was fired for her involvement in the lane closures.

Wisniewski asked about the emails between Kelly and Wildstein in which the former Port Authority executive appeared to agree to close the four lanes leading to the bridge. Wildstein refused to answer.

Millie Silva, a Democratic Lt. Governor candidate in the November election, said it was "like watching a bad episode of Boardwalk Empire.''

"The bullying, lies, political games and jigsaw puzzle of responsibility is government at its worst," Silva said. "New Jersey residents deserve better."

After about 30 minutes of getting no answers from Wildstein, Wisniewski let other members of the committee attempt to elicit a response from Wildstein. None were successful.

Wisniewski, appearing somewhat frustrated, questioned whether Wildstein had not already waived his right to remain silent by providing the documents to the committee that they were now asking him about.

"It's no secret where the documents came from, so it would seem to me that the privilege that you're asserting has already been waived in providing these documents,'' he said.

Following the hearing, Wisniewski called Gov. Chris Christie’s credibility “strained” as a result of the situation.

“It strains his credibility to say this was a rogue operation,” Wisniewski said.

He said the committee’s focus would likely shift to Kelly and Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager who was pulled from consideration as the head of the state Republican Party committee in the wake of the email revelations.

“They were the focus of the governor’s ire,” Wisniewski said. “I think it’s appropriate we ask what they knew.”
christinapaula January 10, 2014 at 08:05 PM
My Name Is Mrs Christina Paula, From USA, An X-Scam Victim and how i get back on my feet and be a personal business owner with cars and landed properties…. This is to announce to the general public about a legitimate lender online. HERE IS MY SUCCESSFUL STORY ON HOW I GOT MY LOAN FROM MR STENPHEN MOONER LOAN COMPANY: I was in a search of a genuine loan lending company were i can obtain a loan of $100,000.00USD some lender’s that Came to me sheep clothing i never knew they where fraud until i was given the terms of their loan and i agreed eventually i was scammed, they scammed me of my hard earn money up to three lender’s that scammed me the sum of $8,000.00USD and i though that all is over that there can never be any other genuine lender until my Husband’s Friend Mr. Smith Waiter the general manager of Cotsat and cotsat company told me that there is a genuine lender that he obtained a loan of 1.2 Million Dollars At 2.5% interest rate From that makes him own a private business and a house of his own he Referred me to a company Mr. Stenphen Mooner Company,Email.... stenphenmoonerloanoffer007@gmail.com Where he obtained the loan of($1.2 million Dollars) i told them who referred me to them i applied for a loan of $180,000.00USD after my application and i sent to them the useful information for them to process my loan after 8hours i received a notification From their company that my loan has been approved and processed in the next 8hours my loan of $180,000.00 Dollars was transferred into my bank account. And i promise them for coming to my rescue i am going to spreed the good news to the entire world ABOUT MR STENPHEN MOONER LOAN COMPANY IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD. And tell them, i Mrs Christina Paula,referred you to them and your wish will be fulfilled… Mrs Christina Paula
Phil Brooks January 10, 2014 at 10:14 PM
Christina Paula, Do you get paid by the scam post? And how hot is it in that boiler room where you're working? Oh, and in which Third World country are you?
Sybilscavetroll January 11, 2014 at 04:36 PM
Christie is a Bully, a Clown, and a lying pig. The Port Authority is a corrupt organized racket that should have been dismantled long ago. These criminals pretend to care about the people of New Jersey, when in truth they care about as much as Obomba, Menendez, and Hitlery care about the innocent people of Africa and the Middle East. It's all one big lie and distraction while they plunder this once great nation and drive the citizenry into poverty, desperation and compliance with their fascist agenda. Meanwhile Fukushima is spewing out radiation that will destroy the entire northern hemisphere for thousands of years and future generations.
David Sileo January 11, 2014 at 04:51 PM
Yeah just like the sincerity of spineless posters here using an alias. There's credibility. Spineless cow.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »