Tags: Christie Bridge Controversy | mayor | sokolich | christie | bridge

Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich to Christie: 'Don't Do Me Any Favors'

Thursday, 09 Jan 2014 01:39 PM

By Courtney Coren

Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, N.J., who has found himself in the middle of the controversy over the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge that directly affected his community, told Gov. Chris Christie, "Don't do me any favors. Don't reach out for me."

The comments came during an
interview on MSNBC Wednesday, when Sokolich continued, in an angry tirade against Christie about the continued bridge-gate controversy:

"Don't reach out for me. You need to reach out to the families who were waiting for ambulances taking three times longer than expected," he told "All In" host Chris Hayes, speaking about Christie.

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"You need to reach out to the thousands of families who couldn't get their kids to school. You need to reach out to my chief fiscal officer and figure out how much this cost Fort Lee to get a reimbursement check from Trenton," Sokolich added.

"We are arguably the most progressive community in the state of New Jersey run by this idiot," Sokolich said, pointing to himself with both hands, "and we should be applauded for that, not penalized for it."

The Fort Lee mayor also attacked Christie's deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, who sent an email to ex-Port Authority official and longtime friend of Christie, David Wildstein, that read, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

All but one commuter-dedicated lane to New York City was closed for four days on the bridge in September, which caused huge delays and other problems in the North Jersey borough and surrounding communities.

Christie fired Kelly at 9 a.m. Thursday for her participation in the lane closures, which was allegedly a political punishment because Sokolich did not endorse Christie's re-election bid.

"David Wildstein deserves an ass-kicking, OK? Sorry. There, I said it," Sokolich said.

However, the Fort Lee mayor said he hopes developments reveal that Christie was not involved in what is being called bridge-gate — but he says chances appear slim that Christie could not have known about it.

"I'm not rooting for an email to surface that specifically and expressly has the governor authorizing this retribution. I'm not because it's not in my nature," he said. "But I will tell you the credibility level is getting reduced and reduced and reduced as this story continues to move on."

In a press conference late Thursday morning, Christie apologized to the residents of New Jersey and specifically to the people of Fort Lee for the involvement of his staff. He said he has plans to travel to Fort Lee later in the day Thursday and meet with Sokolich to apologize to him and the people of his town personally.

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