Chris Christie aide resigns before answering state subpoena on bridge scandal
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s director of intergovernmental affairs resigned Friday, a day before a deadline to answer a subpoena from state lawmakers investigating the evolving bridge closure scandal threatening Christie’s administration and presidential ambitions.
An attorney for Christina Genovese Renna told POLITICO on Sunday that Renna left her position voluntarily, but would not confirm if she planned to answer the legislature’s request by the Monday deadline. Renna is one of 18 people lawmakers in New Jersey asked for documents in January. She has not been accused of wrongdoing.
“This reflects a decision I have been considering since shortly after the election,” Renna said in a statement provided by her attorney, Henry Klingeman of Newark, N.J. “I have spent almost four years working hard for a governor I continue to respect and admire. The transition from term one to term two is a natural time to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.”
Renna is the second official to leave the Christie administration following revelations of an apparent political vendetta causing four days of lane closures last September in Fort Lee, a city near the George Washington Bridge. Christie fired his former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, after documents emerged apparently implicating her as one who helped plan the closures. Two Christie appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have also resigned amid the scandal, including David Wildstein, who has said evidence connecting Christie directly to the scandal exists. He is seeking immunity before providing formal testimony.
Rachel Maddow noted in a Jan. 14 broadcast that an email Kelly received on Sept. 11 from Renna undermines his claim of staff ignorance about the lane closures. Renna mentions in the email that “Evan” — possibly meaning Christie aide Evan J. Ridley, who records show makes $52,000 a year — had been contacted by Mark Sokolich, mayor of Fort Lee, complaining about the traffic nightmare happening in his town as a result.