TRENTON, NJ (CBS/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faces an official misconduct complaint stemming from the closure of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge.
The complaint reads in part: ‘Christie knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey that had been closed with purpose to injure Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, along with Fort Lee residents who were deprived the benefit and enjoyment of their community as a consequence of this evil minded act taken by public officials acting on the authority vested in them by the office of Governor of the state of New Jersey.”
A judge signed the summons Thursday, sending the case to the Bergen County prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether the case will lead to an indictment.
The Republican governor appointed the prosecutor.
Legislators who conducted their own Bridgegate probe, like Assemblyman John Wisniewski, were surprised by the decision.
“It’s a black eye for the state to have this determination made. It’s embarrassing. It certainly corroborates the suspicions that many people have had,” He said. “But we have to wait for the developments to play out.”
Municipal Court administrative specialist Jessica Lemley says a complaint of official misconduct would mean Christie is accused of knowingly refraining from performing a duty imposed on him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.
Christie’s communications director released the following statement: “This is a dishonorable complaint filed by a known serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system. The simple fact is the Governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening. This matter has already been thoroughly investigated by three separate independent investigations. The ruling is being appealed immediately.”
Christie has said he did not know about the plot.
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KYW’s David Madden contributed to this report.