The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has resigned amid continuing questions about lane closures near the George Washington Bridge, and about whether he used his position to boost his law firm. The lane closures caused massive traffic jams, and have been widely labeled as politically motivated.
New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced David Samson's resignation Friday. Samson is a former state attorney general.
Christie had appointed him to head the board of the bistate agency that runs several New York City–area transportation facilities, including airports, bridges and tunnels.
People close to Christie allegedly engineered four days of gridlock with the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September. There are accusations that the action was meant as retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not supporting Christie’s gubernatorial re-election bid.
Meanwhile on Friday, Christie addressed what has come to be known as the "Bridgegate" scandal in his first news conference in nearly three months. He acknowledged that his standing with the public "has fallen," but said, "There is nothing permanent about that."
However, the New Jersey governor made it clear that the scandal would not affect his decision to run or not run for higher office. Many pundits consider Christie to be among the front-runners for the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency.
Christie said that he would make his decision on whether or not to run based on "what's best for me and my family," and whether he had "something unique" to offer to a particular higher office "at that particular time."
Speaking about the report he commissioned that cleared him of wrongdoing a day earlier, Christie said the lawyers who produced it would not "give away their reputations to do some kind of slipshod job for me."
Democrats have blasted the report as one-sided and incomplete.
Al Jazeera and wire services