Christie’s chief of staff goes before Bridgegate committee

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff told lawmakers Monday morning he looks forward to helping assist the joint legislative committee investigating the administration over the George Washington Bridge lane closures in their inquiry.

Kevin O’Dowd gave a brief opening statement as lawmakers began questioning the Christie staffer over the September lane closures.

“I would like to start my appearance today by making very clear to the committee that I had no prior knowledge of, or played a role in, the decision to close the lanes at the bridge last September,” O’Dowd said in his opening statement.

“I have great respect for the committee and the work you are doing. I look forward to fully cooperating with you and answering your questions to the best of my ability,” he said. “Thank you for providing me an opportunity to address the committee prior to the questioning.”

O’Dowd supervised former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly, who emailed a former Port Authority executive ahead of the lane closures the now infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” memo.

In the audience of Monday’s hearing is Christie’s former two-time campaign manager, Bill Stepien.

Late last year, Christie announced he intended to appoint O’Dowd to serve as the state’s attorney general.

Christie’s chief of staff goes before Bridgegate committee