Note: As of now, there is no direct evidentiary proof that Christie himself was aware of the lane closures. However, there is evidence that top Christie staffers including Bridget Kelly and Michael Drewniak were aware, and were in close contact with David Wildstein (who orchestrated the closures) before and during the entire fiasco. Indeed, it appears that Bridget Kelly directed David Wildstein to get the closures done. So its entirely possible that Christie knew. As we wait for more evidence, reporters keep trying to parse Christie's various statements on what he knew, but unless he gets entirely tripped up, it seems likely he can plead ignorance unless written proof of his knowledge appears.
YOUR PRIMARY CAST
References to Exhibit numbers are to documents produced by the NJ Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee unless otherwise noted.
PRE-AUGUST 2013 EVENTS AND BACKGROUND
- 1931: The George Washington Bridge (GWB) opens between Fort Lee, New Jersey, and northern Manhattan
- 1962: Lower deck lanes are added at GWB
- Since at least 1981:Three tollbooths are coned off in the morning to handle local traffic entering the bridge from Fort Lee. (This is per Fort Lee police, Deputy Chief Timothy Ford said in December 2013 that its been that way the entire time of his 33 year tenure. (WSJ cite))
- January 19, 2010: Republican Chris Christie takes office as Governor of New Jersey, replacing Democrat Jon Corzine.
- February 19, 2010: Republican NJ State Senator Bill Baroni is appointed by Chris Christie to be Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Traditionally the Governor of NJ appoints the Deputy Director, and the Governor of New York appoints the Executive Director.
- May 2010 - David Wildstein is hired as Director of Interstate Capital Projects, the 2nd highest ranking Christie official at the Port Authority. Wildstein was a long-time behind the scenes political operative in NJ, and was the founder and anonymous head of the PoliticsNJ (later PolitickerNJ) website, and was not outed until he took this new position. (See March 2012 Bergen Record profile of Wildstein, in depth).
- June 5, 2010: David Wildstein outed as Wally Edge. (Timing here is unclear, vs. prior entry, as to exactly when Wildstein started at Port Authority). PolitickerNJ's tightly guarded secret is out (NJ.com, June 5, 2010)
- 2010 - Bridget Anne Kelly, longtime staffer for NJ Assemblyman David C. Russo, take position with Christie administration as Director of Legislative Relations.
- Late 2010, maybe 2011:: Wildstein makes comments to Cedrick Fulton, head of Bridges, Tunnels, and Terminals for the Port Authority, about the three local lanes. "What about the three lanes? How long have the three lanes been in effect?" This is according to Fulton's testimony on December 9, 2013. (Fulton Testimony, p. 20). Robert Durando, General Manager for the GWB recalled similar comments. (Durando Testimony, p. 83)
- November 1, 2011: Patrick Foye becomes Executive Director of Port Authority, Cuomo appointee. Former high powered lawyer from Skadden Arps law firm
- December 2011: Bridget Kelly files for divorce from husband of 16-years, local golf pro Joe Kelly. They share custody for their four children (Ages 17, 14, 10, 7 as of January 2014).
- September 2012: Kelly turns 40. Shot of Gov Christie attending birthday party is tweeted by Christina Renna Genovese, another Christie staffer.
- November 25, 2012: Christie announces he will run for second term as Governor. (link)
- April 2013: Kelly moves up to position as Deputy Chief of Staff (for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs) to the Governor. (Good Jan 8, 2014 profile of Bridget Anne Kelly at nj.com)
- Tues Aug 13, 7:34am: Bridget Kelly (from private yahoo account email@example.com) emails David Wildstein (to his private gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org): "Time for some traffic problems in fort lee."
- 7:35am: one minute later, Wildstein responds: "Got it". Note that the very nature of this communication, using private email accounts, shows that Wildstein and Kelly are familiar with each other, and seem to understand what is being contemplated.
- Mon Aug 19, 7:23 - 7:35pm: Wildstein texts a photo of Rabbi Mendy Carlebach to Bridget Kelly. In exchange of texts, Kelly comments "We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house can we?" Wildstein responds "Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed." (ADDED to this timeline on Feb 27, 2014, when this document was publicly released)
- Wed Aug 21: Wildstein talks to Robert Durando, Gen'l Mgr for GWB. Wildstein asks whether there was any documentation in place for the segregated local lanes, with the intent of going to one lane, but Wildstein wanted to know if there was any agreement counter to that. (Durando testimony, p.85-86)
- Wed Aug 28, 2013, 5:08pm: David Wildstein email to Bridget Kelly: "Call when you have a chance re: Ft. Lee - can wait for tomorrow"
- 6:11pm: Jose Rivera, Chief Traffic Engineer for the Port Authority, emails Peter Zipf (Chief Engineer of the Port Authority) with a 3 page pdf showing three scenarios for handling George Washington Bridge local lane traffic. The first shows normal mid-day operations, where no lanes are coned off. The second shows normal morning operations, where three lanes are coned off for local traffic. The third options shows the three local lanes merged into two lanes. (Exhibit A, p. 2) (Peter Zipf started with the Port Authority in 1985 and was appointed Chief Engineer in Nov 2010 (Aritcle on Zipf)) (Jose Rivera joined the Port Authority in 1983 and became Chief Traffic Engineer in 2007, per his linkedin profile.)
- 6:19pm: Peter Zipf emails the above Rivera email and pdf to David Wildstein, cc'ing Rivera. Zipf writes that "As requested, here is a suggested modification. Jose will certainly work out the details/further development with GWB as needed. One additional scenario could be a merge down to one lane, if needed." Note: The last sentence shows Zipf seems to anticipate that Wildstein really wants to squeeze down the local lanes as much as possible.
- Thur Aug 29 12:54pm: Continuing above email thread, Jose Rivera emails Zipf and Wildstein an updated pdf with a fourth scenario: squeezing down local traffic to one lane. (Ex A p. 11) At 6:09pm, Zipf thanks Jose by email for the updated pdf.
- Fri Aug 30, 2013, 3-3:30pm: Emails exchanged between Kelly and Wildstein Re planning to talk later that day, in followup to the Ft. Lee email of Aug 28.
Friday September 6, 2013
- 8:11am: Peter Zipf emails Jose Rivera, continuing thread of their Aug 29 email: "Jose, I was advised that on Monday TBT [Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals] plans to implement the plan per sheet 4 (neck down to one lane)." Asks whether Traffic can be in touch with what ramifications will be. (Ex A, p. 900)
- 8:22am: Peter Zipf forwards thread and email immediately above to Cedrick Fulton (Port Authority's Director of Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals (TBT)), "This is what I called about - I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of the below plan. ..." (Ex A, p. 900)
- 8:31 am: Email from Cedrick Fulton to Peter Zipf and others, following chain immediately above. Says he "just spoke to Bob Durando. He will involve Jerry Quelch." (Ex A, p. 899-900) (Gerrard Quelch is Supervisor of Planning & Operations for Port Authority) (Robert Durando is General Manager for the GWB, has been in that position since July 2002. Has been with Port Authority since 1997.)
- 8:51am: Mark Muriello (Assistant Director of TBT Dept) response to above email.
- 9:39am: Gerrard Quelch email, from Blackberry (he was on vacation) to above thread. "If this configuration is during the peak hour it will have a direct impact on the local approach. We typically give 3-4 toll lanes to Ft. Lee in the AM." (Ex A. p. 898-99)
- 10:00am: Muriello responds to above thread. "It will affect peak hour significantly."
- 11:02am: Gerrard Quelch email responding to above, only to Mark Muriello. Gerard says he got an "email and long string" from Raheel about the issue, says "TE" is involved already, and he had responded that Victor should work with Raheel. "Don't know why the 15th floor is involved?" (meaning the executive suite of the Port Authority).
- 11:18am: Email from Gerard Quelch to Victor Chung, Mark Muriello, and Daniel Jacobs: Re what traffic count data may exist. (EX A, p. 884)
- 11:24am: Victor Chung (GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Coordinator for Port Authority) email responding to above email: "Assuming best case scenario of this one lane only implementation, there will still be substantial queuing just by the Fort Lee demand." (Ex A, p. 884)
- 2:50pm: David Wildstein (private) email to Bridget Kelly: "We are ready to do this," then reference to Mayor Springfield, another project.
- 3:17pm: Victor Chung email followup to 11:18am email above -- Says 2011 EB (eastbound traffic?) study did not include local count, and that Traffic Engineering is aware of that. (Ex A, p. 879)
- 3:44pm: Victor Chung email to Mark Muriello et al. Says he just got a call from Raheel Shabih at Traffic Engineering, who says Jose Rivera just spoke by phone with Bob Durando, who says one lane modification will be implememented Monday morning. (Ex A.p, 878)
- 3:59pm: Port Authority of Port Authority Police Department emails Asst Chief Norma Hardy (cc to others) informed that the Robert Durando had informed her that Wildstein has directed change in traffic on Monday, and that Wildstein will visit on that date. "This measure could impact the volume of traffic from the local street." At 4:04pm Asst Chief Gloria Frank responds to Licorish only: "Thank you, I will keep you updated with any information regarding his visit." (Ex F, p. 9)
- 4:14pm: Daniel M. Jacobs (General Manager for Transportation & Revenue at Port Authority) reply to 3:44pm email above: "Is there really no way to convert this plan into a two lane configuration, one cash and one E-ZPass? The volumes are such that we could probably handle this volume in just two lanes with only limited spill-back ... What is driving this?"
- 4:37pm: Gerald Quelch reply to email thread: "This is my question as well. A single toll lane operation invites potential disaster. Even with a three lane operation, motorists experience 5-10 min each morning. It seems like we are punishing all for the sake of a few. Very confused." (Ex A, p. 878).
- 5:01pm Victor Chung email to Mark Muriello, attaching summary for one lane analysis. (Ex A, p. 875-76) The analysis show that the three toll lanes at issue, on May 7, 2013, handled over 400 cars per hour every hour between 5am and midnight. With over 1000 per hour during rush hour. But the maximum capacity of a one lane operation will be 400 cars per hour. Even if only Fort Lee originating cars used the lanes, demand is going to far exceed capacity. In other words, it was pretty clear exactly what was going to happen.
September 7 - 8, 2013
- Sat Sep 7, 2013, 9:43am: Wildstein email to Bridget Kelly "I will call you Monday AM to let you know how Fort Lee goes." Bridget responds at 10am: "Great I called you yesterday to talk PATH." Wildstein responds at 10:09am: "Will call you in 5 minutes."
- Sun Sep 8, 10:09am: Wildstein emails Robert Durando, "Will be at bridge early Monday am to view new lane test." (Ex A, p. 13.)
- 10:22am: 13 minutes later, Durando responds to Wildstein email immediately above. Durando says he will be there too ("So Will I."). He says "Police are aware that they will be controlling traffic in the intersections for the extended rush." This must mean Port Authority police, since Fort Lee police did not know of lane change in advance. Also, Durando advises they will have a collector in on overtime in case the collector in the one lane "needs a personal." (Note: Normally if a toll collector needs a break, its not a problem, but if only lane is going to be open, it would be a complete shutdown during the break.) (Ex A p. 14.)
- 10:48am: Wildstein responds to email immediately above "Thanks". Wildstein also forwards Durando's email at the same time to Bill Baroni, without any comment. (Ex A, p. 15-16).
- 10:53am: Email from Robert Durando to Cedrick Fulton, forwarding his 10:22am email to Durando, and adding "Took a shot. He didn't bite." (EX A, p. 831.) Seems like Durando was trying to get Wildstein to back down?
- 12:19pm: Liet. Thomas Michael of Port Policy emails Darcy Licorish "Is there going to be a new traffic pattern installed for Monday the 9th?". At 12:23, Licorish replies: "This is to compled by the maintenance personnel." At 12:23 Micheals replies: "Understood. Will this affect our normal rush hour operations?" Licorish response at 12:26: "Most likely. Concerns were made to no aval locally." (Ex. F, p. 8)
D-DAY: Monday September 9, 2013
- 6:00am: Fort Lee local lanes are reduced to one lane only. (Durando testimony, p. 91-92)
- 6:52am: Text message: "Want to meet in parking lot?" (Ex A, p. 903), response "Come in lobby I'm with bob"
Note: This probably means Bob Durando.
- 8:14am:: Robert Durando email to Cedrick Fulton et al. "Traffic remains heavy on all approaches." Note s two irate calls so far. "They were advised that we're testing a new traffic pattern and referred to the General PA as per DW. [David Wildstein]" (Ex A, p. 832)
- 8:31am: Robert Durando email to Cedrick Fulton: "DW has left the building. He'll be 'checking back' with me later to discuss how this morning went." (EX A, p. 873)
- 8:45am: text message, "I may have idea to mak this beter."
- 8:57am: Port Authority police alert email: "GWB reports there are delays on local streets due to heavy bridge volume." (Ex. A. p. 17)
- 9:10am: Robert Durando emails David Wildstein, cc to Cedrick Fulton and Dianneae Ehler. (EX A, p. 18). Reports that he just got off phone with Fort Lee police department chief. Says no one told them or mayor "about testing a new traffic pattern." Was advised to have mayor call Bill Baroni. Durando "also, at their request, met with them at the facility and advised them of the same in person. They advised that the mayor would be calling Bill this morning."
- 9:29am: Matthew Bell at PA emails Bill Baroni re Mayor Sokolich calling about "urgent matter of public safety in Fort Lee." At 9:41am, Baroni forwards this to Wildstein's private email account. At 9:48am, Wildstein sends it to Bridget Kelly's private email account. At 10:06am, Bridget replies "Did he call him back?" At 10:13am Wildstein replies: "Radio silence His name comes right after mayor Fulop". Bridget reply at 10:14am "Ty" (Thank you). Note: Steven Fulop is the Democratic mayor of Jersey City. Fulop has since claimed the Christie administration cancelled meetings with him after he refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid.)
- 10:50am: Text message, "Hudson terr south traffic has broke. Ft lee from martha wash still heavy" (Ex A, p. 903)
- 11:24am: Tina Lado (Director of Government & Community Relations at PANYNJ) emails Bill Baroni and David Wildstein from her Blackberry, cc to Cedrick Fulton subject "Ft Lee". Says Peggy Thomas, [Fort Lee] Borough Administrator, called her about increased volume and congestion of AM rush traffic due to lane adjustment. Peggy says two incidents occurred that Ft Lee PD and EMS had difficulty responding to "a missing child (later found) and a cardiac arrest." Peggy also noted that the Borough and police department had no advance notice. (Ex A, p. 19, copy at p. 834)
- 12:06pm: Lisa Herrera emails Robert Durando re "Angy Patron" -- a wife complaining about husband being 40 minutes late to new job after being out of work for a year. (EX A, p. 874)
- 12:09pm Durando forwards email above to Cedrick Fulton and others. "Fyi, so you get a flavor of the complaints. We've gotten a half dozen calls + or -" More Durando emails follow. (Ex A, p. 801-802)
- 12:53pm: Mark Muriello responds to email 12:09 pm above "Is the operation still in effect?"
- 12:55pm: Robert Durando responds to above: "It is, no delays at this time. DW is supposed to check in with later to talk traffic numbers." (EX A, p. 874).
- 1:08pm: Cedrick Fulton responds to above email: "I am sorry. Is there a plan for tomorrow?" (EX A p. 836)
- 1:13pm: Robert Durando responds "DW is supposed to call [m]e later to discuss ...." with more details. Notes Ft Lee police noting grave concerns about safety. (Ex A, p. 836).
- 2:05pm: Robert Durando email to Cedrick et al forwarding "raging mad" email and commenting that Wildstein advised him that the Mayor Sokolich had called Bill Baroni. "BB will get back to the Mayor 'at some point.' " Wildstein has directed operation to continue "so that we can make a business decision with regard to how to proceed. Mark's folks are looking at numbers." (Ex A, p. 837)
- 2:23pm: Darcy Licorish of Port police emails Asst Chief Gloria Frank, that Robert Durando had just told her the traffic pattern would continue. At 2:35pm, Frank responded to tell Licorish to let the Ft. Lee Inspector know that the traffic pattern will remain in place. "I contacted the chief earlier and will provide him with an update." (Ex F, p. 11)
- 5:24pm: Robert Durando email to Cedrick Fulton asking whether he'd talked to Wildstein about advising Fort Lee that test will continue. (Ex Ap. 839)
- 6:03pm: Cedrick Fulton responds to above email: "We spoke. The test will continue. Good luck." at 6:04pm Robert responds: "Ok. I'll make the necessary notification." at 6:07pm Cedrick writes: "Just to your staff -right?" And Robert responds at 6:09pm: "Yes. All my staff are aware." (EX A, p. 839)
- 6:07pm: Cedrick Fulton forwards an email to David Wildstein "that Bob's field staff fielded." The email below appears to be from Fulton to "Bob" says "Dr. Fried called asking to speak to you regarding the change in traffic" notes he is demanding an explanation. This is Dr. Richard Fried, a northern Bergen County resident. (Fried was intereviewed in Bergen Record story on Dec 18, 2013 about his call: article)
- 8:46-47pm: Text: Wildstein texts Bill Baroni: "911" "call me"
DAY 2: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
- 8:04am: Text messsage. Copies Sokolich text to Baroni. Follows at 8:05am "Is it wrong that I am smiling"
8:05 Person 2 response: "No"
8:05 Person 1" "I feel badly about the kids."
8:06 Person 1 "I guess"
8:11am Person 2: "They are the children of Buono voters"
8:13am Person 2: "Bottom line is he didn't say safety." (EX A. p. 906)
- 8:33am: Text message "Rt 95 trafic broke", response 8:33am: "At 8:30?", 8:39am: reply: "Yup." "Local ft lee trafic disaster."
- 11:25am: Email from Robert Durando to Cedrick Fulton, "Just got off the phone with DW. He'd like to continue the test of tl 24 through tomorrow." (EX A, p. 840)
DAY 3: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
- 9:20am: Email from Robert Duranddo to Mark Muriello, Cedrick Fulton, et al. Comes up with annual cost of overtime toll collectors - about $600K. Will also try to get sense of additional police coverage cost. (Ex A, p. 823)
- 12:13pm>: Robert Durando email to Cedrick Fulton et al: "Just spoke with DW and we will be continuing the test tomorrow." (EX A, p. 826.)
DAY 4: Thursday, September 12, 2013
- 11:45am: Emails regarding more customer complaints (Ex A, p. 816)
- 12:44pm: Mayor Sokolich sends letter to Baroni pleading for end to closures. Three minutes later, 12:47pm, Baroni forwards it to David Wildstein's private email account. Five minutes after that, 12:52pm, Wildstein forwards the letter to private yahoo accounts of Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly (EX A, p. 646-49)
- 1:17pm: John Cichowski, Road Warrior reporter for the Bergen Record, emails Chris Valens, a Port Authority spokesman, forwarding an email complaint he got about the closures, and asking for a response. Complaint appears to date from same day, and notes that for the past two days the commuter had driven to another GWB entrance to avoid the lane closures. (EX A., p. 21)
- 1:40pm: Chris Valens forwards above email to Robert Durando and others, asking for "details on the inquiry from our good buddy below?" (Ex A., p. 21)
- 1:58pm: Cedrick Fulton forwards Road Worrier inquiry to David Wildstein. (EX A, p. 21).
- 3:11pm: Wildstein forwards to Bridget Kelly and Michael Drewniak the 1:17pm inquiry from Cichowski. (EX A, p. 702)
- 3:18pm: Wildstein email to Bridget Kelly and Michael Drewniak - press statement on lane closures. (Ex A, p. 703)
- 6:27pm: Ron Marisco, Assistant Director/Media Relations for Port Authority, sends "Nightly Media Activity Report" for the day to senior Port execs. One of the bullet points is Cichowski's inquiry from the Bergen Record. Report says "We told the reporter that the Port Authority is reviewing traffic safety patterns at the GWB and that PAPD has been in contact with Fort Lee PD throughout the transition." This is probably how New York side executives found out about the problem.(Ex A, p. 22)
DAY 5: Friday, September 13, 2013
- 6:01am: Patrick Foye emails Robert Durando, "Please call me after 6am". At 6:04 am, Durando fowards this as an FYI to David Wildstein. Wildstein responds at 6:13am "Let's me know what he says, thanks."
- 6:46am: Robert Durando email to David Wildstein: "He asked about the test. He asked why he wasn't told." At 7:01am, Wildstein responds: "His staff knows, but bb will to him." (Ex A, p. 790)
- 7:44am: Patrick Foye email to Cedrick Fulton, Robert Durando, cc to Bill Baroni and others. This is the long mail where he reverses the test and complains strongly about it, saying it is illegal and very wrong. (Ex A, p. 784-85).
- 8:04am: Robert Durando responds to Foye declaration saying that 3 lanes have been restored to Fort Lee. (Note: Only 20 minutes after Foye ordered the test ended, it was over!)
- 8:11am: Port Police Inspector Darcy Licorish emails Asst Chief Glorida Frank (and others) that she has just learned via Robert Durando that he had received instructions to return traffic pattern to normal. (Ex F, p. 4)
- 9:05am: Bergen Record Road Warrior story "Closed tollbooths a community disaster" goes live. Reporter John Cichowski notes that people calling him were speculating it was punishment to Sokolich either for failing to endorse Christie for re-election, or for promoting a 47-story highrise near the bridge, or not supporting the last round of toll hikes. An unnamed source is quoted: "Those two tollbooths were purposely closed without notice to anyone." "There is absolutely no legitimate traffic-safety rationale for this change."
- 11:24am: Daniel Jacob emails powerpoint based on "Fort Lee Trial" to Mark Muriello (Ex A, p. 858). Among other interesting observations, including that the traffic delays were as they predicted, he notes that annual revenue loss would be $250K by keeping configuration, because Fort Lee delays will cause more people to pay off-peak toll rates.
- 11:44am: Wildstein emails Bridget Kelly: "The New York side gave Fort Lee back all three lanes this morning. We are appropriately going nuts. Samson helping us to retaliate." At 11:47am, Kelly responds "What??" At 12:07pm Wildstein responds "Yes, unreal, Fixed now."
- 1:30pm: Steve Coleman emails Patrick Foye, Bill Baroni, others including David Wildstein re media inquires on Fort Lee toll booths, and requests guidance "on how we can address these inquiries". (Ex A. p. 51).
- 1:36pm: Bill Baroni responds to group on email above, "Steve I shall get guidance and get back to you" (Ex A p. 52)
- 1:37pm: Port Police Inspector Darcy Licorish sends email to Louis Koumoutsos, Chief of the Port Authority. Email outlines chronology of what happened as she knows it. (Ex F, p. 3)
- 3:10pm: Bill Baroni further responds to email about press inquires (see 1:36pm email) with short press statement about it being a traffic study. Statement says: "The Port Authority has conducted a week of study at the George Washington Bridget of traffic safety patterns. We will now review those results and determine the best traffic patterns at the GWB. We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners." (Ex A. p. 53).
- 4:02pm: Tina Lado gets email letter from U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell re lane closures. (Ex A, p. 23-24). Pascrell references Bergen Record Road Warrior report "Road Warrior: Closed tollbooths a commuting disaster."
- 4:05pm: Tina Lado forwards above email/letter to Bill Baroni and David Wildstein. (Ex A, p. 25)
- 5:00pm: David Wildstein forwards above two emails to his gmail account (Ex A. p. 25)
Monday, September 16, 2013
- 12:19pm: Steven Coleman emails Patrick Foye, Bill Baroni and others (including Wildstein) re inquiry from Wall Street Journal reporter Ted Mann. Ted claims some WSJ editors were caught in delays last week, and didn't know what was happening until they read John Cichowski's stories in the Bergen Record. (Ex A, p. 36).
- 12:19pm: (within one minute of above email): Wildstein fwds above email to Baroni with comment "I call bullshit on this" (Note: Guessing he thinks Foye or other enemies are putting press on the story.) (Ex A, p. 36)
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
- 9:45am:Text message between Bill Baroni and David Wildstein. Wildstein: "....someone in the face. Right now you are taking punches." Baroni: "That's not helpful." Wildstein: "I don't know what to tell you." Further texts redacted.
- 1:33pmBaroni sends message from Mayor Sokolich (referred to as "From Serbia") to Wildstein: "We should talk. Someone needs to tell me that the recent traffic debacle was not punitive in nature. The last four reporters that contacted me suggest that the people they are speaking with absolutely believe it to be punishment. Try as I may to dispel these rumors I have am having a tough time. A private face-to-face would be important to me. Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to the errors of my ways. Let me know if you'll give me 10 minutes. Regards Mark"
- 1:34pm: Wildstein sends Sokolich information to Bridget Kelly. (Ex A, p. 755)
- 1:57pm: Text from Wildstein to Baroni "Have not heard back fr Bridget" Baroni responds: "Fck" (EX A, p. 779)
- 1:57pm: Wildstein texts Bridget Kelly: "Please let me know instructions." (Ex A, p. 755)
- 1:58pm: Wildstein forwards to Baroni a text from Bridget: "Just finishing a meeting" Wildstein follows with "So we will speak soon." At 1:59pm Baroni responds to Wildstein: "We could sched a meeting to stave off reporters then pull a faps." (Note: What is a faps? This was among the questions later asked Wildstein by the legislative committee, though Wildstein took the 5th and did not respond.). Wildstein responds "Like for Monday?" Baroni responds: "Too cute. Tuesday or later next week." (Ex. A, p. 779).
- 2:28pm-2:34pm: Wildstein texts to Bridget Kelly "Baroni crazed so let me know when to call" and "WSJ just called my cell so I need to speak with you" (Ex A, p. 755)
- 2:42pm: Bridget Kelly to Wildstein: "I am calling your office. No answer" at 5:13 she writes "I spoke to Mike" (Probably Mike Drewniak) (Ex A, p. 755)
Rest of September
- September 18, 2013, 4:54am: Wildstein emails Bill Stepian, Christie's campaign manager, a copy of Ted Mann's WSJ story "Bridge Jam's Cause A Mystery"
- 5:16am: Stepian responds to Wildstein: "It's fine. The mayor is an idiot, though. When some, lose some."
- 5:30am: Wildstein responds: "I had empty boxes ready to take to work today, just in case." "It will be a tough November for this little Serbian," referring to the Fort Lee Mayor.
- October 2, 2013 3:45pm: Baroni text to Wildstein: "Comella, didn't think much of the story. Said nobody paying attention. Oh lol." Wildstein responds 3:45: "Bridget same." (Christie's communications director is Maria Comella)
- October 4, 2013 7:25pm: Wildstein text to Baroni: "Did you hear from Charlie?" (Ex A, p. 780). (Charles McKenna = Christie's chief counsel, and helped lead Christie's internal investigation of bridgegate)
- November 5, 2013: Christie re-elected governor in a landslide.
- November 25, 2013: Baroni testifies before a New Jersey legislative committee to justify lane closure "Study".
- Mon Dec 2: Christie jokes at a press conference that he moved the cones, but that seriously he had nothing to do with it.
- Wed Dec 4: David Wildstein and Michael Drewniak (Christie staffer) have dinner. (Ex A, p. 651)
- Thur Dec 5, 8:26am: Wildstein emails Drewniak "Thanks again for all your sound advice last night, I always appreciate your friendship. Spoke with O'Toole this morning and he will talk with you later today." Drewniak responds at 8:59am, "Same to you, David, and thanks for a great dinner." (Note: O'Toole is Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex), Senate Republican and Christie ally)
- Fri Dec 6: David Wildstein resigns. "“My plan was to leave the agency at some point next year, but the Fort Lee issue has been a distraction, and I think it’s better to move on earlier" (Bergen Record report)
- Mon Dec 9:: Democrats call for Baroni's resignation. Patrick Foye, Cedric Fulton, and Robert Durando testify.(Bergen Record story)
- December 12, 2013: Bill Baroni resigns.
- December 13, 2013: Print date on released version of of Aug 13, 2013 email, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." This must be when Wildstein was gathering materials in response to the subpoena directed to him.
- Tues Jan 7:Bill Stepian, Christie's campaign manager, announced as pick to lead state GOP.(NJ.com story, Jan 7)
- Wed Jan 8:: Intial public records including "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email are released. (Bergen Record Jan 8 story)
- Thurs Jan 9:: Christie gives two hour press conference about scandal. Bridget Kelly fired. Bill Stepian nomination rescinded. (NJ.com Jan 9 story)
- Thurs Jan 9 later: David Wildstein takes 5th amendment when called to testify before NJ Assembly Transportation Commitee.(link>)
- Feb 2: Christina Genovese Renna, director of governmental relations for Christie, and who had reported to Kelly, resigns.
- Feb 3: Bridget Kelly invokes fifth amendment (And fourth amendment), refuses to testify or turn over documents.
- Feb 5: Port Authority eliminates position that David Wildstein held (so that he is the only person ever to hold it).