Some Democrats criticized Wildstein's closure of the GW Bridge, claiming he was attempting to send a message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie in his re-election bid. AFP PHOTO

Some Democrats criticized Wildstein’s closure of the GW Bridge, claiming he was attempting to send a message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Gov. Chris Christie, seen here, in his re-election bid. AFP PHOTO

Port Authority officials testified Tuesday that the closure of local access lanes on George Washington Bridge in September was ordered by a political appointee of Gov. Chris Christie and no traffic study was conducted during the closure as was originally claimed.

At a hearing held before the New Jersey Assembly’s Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, Director of bridges, tunnels and terminals Cedrick Fulton said the lane closures were ordered by David Wildstein, the second-highest appointee from New Jersey. When asked by assembly members if the closure order seemed unusual , Fulton told them “he had never experienced such a process in his eight years in the position,” local paper the Star-Ledger has reported.

At the time of the closure, Democrats suspected the closures were in retaliation for the Fort Lee mayor’s failure to to endorse Christie for re-election. According to the Huffington Post, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich wrote Bill Baroni at Port Authority on on Sept. 12, saying he believed Wildstein’s actions were “punitive.” However, he has since retracted that accusation.


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