By Edith Honan
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two people at the heart of a traffic scandal dogging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joked weeks earlier about causing traffic problems in front of the home of a rabbi, documents released on Thursday show.
Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein, an ally to the governor at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, lost their jobs over their involvement in a September incident over the closing of bridge access lanes that is now threatening Christie’s White House aspirations.
Documents released by Wildstein to a state legislative committee probing “Bridgegate”, possibly politically motivated lane closures that sparked a huge traffic snarl, reveal that on August 19 he and Kelly discussed another traffic scheme.
“We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?” Kelly wrote in a message to Wildstein.
“Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” Wildstein wrote in reply.
Kelly and Wildstein appear to be joking.
The Star-Ledger newspaper has identified the rabbi as Mendy Carlebach of the Chabad of North and South Brunswick who was also a chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.
Carlebach could not immediately be reached for comment.
“He has officially pissed me off,” Wildstein wrote.
Attorneys for Wildstein and Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Christie, a favored Republican candidate to run for the White House in 2016, has described himself as blindsided by Kelly and Wildstein’s roles in the September George Washington Bridge lane closures, which came just months before Christie won a resounding re-election victory.
But the incident, which is being investigated by federal prosecutors and the special legislative committee, has eroded the popularity of the Republican presidential hopeful.
(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Hilary Russ; editing by Gunna Dickson)