New Jersey Governor Chris Christie apologized Thursday for a scandal that threatens his political future and announced he had fired a senior aide involved in the case.
His apology came after a series of emails and text messages disclosed Wednesday showed that he was probably linked to a deliberate plan to create traffic gridlock in a town at the base of a major bridge in early September.
Christie ousted Bill Stepien, who managed both of the New Jersey Republicanâ„¢s winning campaigns for governor, and another top adviser implicated in the burgeoning scandal over George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Å“This is the exception ” it is not the rule ” of whatâ„¢s happened over the last four years in this administration,” Christie said in a news conference. He added that he was Å“stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here.”
The Republican Partyâ„¢s leading 2016 presidential hopeful said the incident had Å“embarrassed and humiliated” him.
The gridlock was allegedly planned to punish a Democratic mayor refused to endorse the governorâ„¢s for re-election.
After his news conference, Christie traveled to Fort Lee to apologize personally to cityâ„¢s mayor Mark Sokolish and the community for the lane closures, which severely delayed commuters, school buses and emergency vehicles.
The mayor said later he accepted Christieâ„¢s apology. Å“I take him for his word.”
Christie at once accepted responsibility as the stateâ„¢s chief executive but denied any involvement, blaming Å“deceitful” staff.
The scandal comes as the governor assumes a larger position on the national stage, as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
An investigation has already begun since December into the lane closing by the Port Authority Inspector Generalâ„¢s office.
Source: Press TV