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More documents released in New Jersey bridge scandal

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 10 2014 02:09:22 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 10 2014 05:32:38 PM CST

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's apology is being met with mixed reactions in Fort Lee.

TRENTON, N.J. -

Newly released documents show officials scrambled to control the publicity damage in the days after lane closings near the George Washington Bridge caused huge traffic jams that now appear to have been politically orchestrated by officials in Gov. Chris Christie's administration.

In emails days after the closings, the Christie-appointed chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Sampson, suggested that the director of the Port Authority leaked an internal memo on the matter to a reporter.

Sampson called it "very unfortunate for NY/NJ relations" because the director is an appointee of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

On Thursday, Christie apologized for the closings, fired a top aide who was implicated in the scandal and cut ties with a top political adviser.

Meanwhile, Christie's apology is getting mixed reactions in Fort Lee.

While some felt the governor was sincere, others said they want to hear more details about what Christie knew and when.

When Christie left the municipal building Thursday afternoon, some yelled for the governor to take a lie detector test after a Christie staffer ordered traffic problems on the nearby George Washington Bridge.

"I think he did it to make himself look good because he had to," said resident Dorie Greenlaw. "It was at a point where he had to because he knew about this."

Others felt the apology was the right thing to do.

"I think it was sincere, but it's out of his character," added Jeffrey Lloyd, as he walked by the municipal building. "Which I would have liked him to get hotter and say this is not what's going to go on in New Jersey."

The traffic problems caused trouble for emergency service vehicles, school buses and commuters, according to residents.

"We in Fort Lee are not rooting for facts to, you know, come about and surface that would suggest in some shape or form that he was involved, and we take him for his word," said Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, after meeting with Christie.

One thing many Fort Lee residents can agree on is that the traffic scandal didn't only hurt them, it hurt anyone traveling on the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York.

"Traffic is traffic, George Washington Bridge," said resident Frank Branco. "There's no telling how far people come to get to that bridge to get into the city, of course."

Residents may not be rooting to see if Christie was involved, but people living in Fort Lee said they still want answers.

"Once the facts emerge, then let whose ever head roll," added Branco.

Then, some siding with Christie said they may change their minds.