TRENTON – Since news broke in January that former Gov. Chris Christie staffer Bridget Anne Kelly told a Port Authority executive last year it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the former aide has been characterized in several ways.
In the administration’s internal review of the September George Washington Bridge lane closures, Kelly was depicted as a nervous advisor who was weepy at times while Christie staffers investigated the closures. The word “emotional” was used nearly a half dozen times in the report to describe Kelly.
In May, another former Christie staffer, Christina Renna, who worked under Kelly in the administration’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs described being close with her former boss, but also gave an unflattering report of the former Christie advisor. Some of the words Renna used to describe Kelly included: “Insecure, erratic, paranoid, enormously overwhelmed and enormously stressed with everyday life” and “enormously overwhelmed with family and work.”
Now, Christie’s chief of staff – Kevin O’Dowd – told lawmakers investigating the lane closures on Monday he had no reason not to trust Kelly when he first asked her in December whether she had any involvement with the lane closure controversy.
“Bridget Kelly [was] someone who I worked with and known for four years,” said O’Dowd, adding, she was “someone that I thought very highly of.”
O’Dowd responded to questions from Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat, who quizzed O’Dowd on his initial discussion with Kelly about the lane closures.