Federal officials are investigating whether Gov. Chris Christie improperly used Superstorm Sandy relief funds to produce tourism ads that starred him and his family, according to CNN.
The revelation comes just days after news of the so-called 'Bridgegate' scandal broke, and the release of emails involving the governor’s now-fired deputy chief of staff, who joked about causing hours-long traffic jams in Fort Lee after several lanes of the George Washington Bridge were suddenly closed last September.
A state Assembly committee plans to probe the controversy this week, issue additional subpoenas and call more of the principle figures in the scandal to testify.
Christie, in a marathon press conference Thursday, apologized for the incident and said the emails showed a “callous indifference’’ that shocked him. Christie said he knew nothing about the lane closures until reports surfaced.
Christie fired the aide, Bridget Anne Kelley, calling her actions “stupid.’’
Later Thursday, David Wildstein, the former Port Authority executive who quit under mounting pressure over the Fort Lee incident, appeared before the state Assembly’s Transportation Public Works and Independent Authorities committee, which is investigating the lane closures, but refused to answer questions. Wildstein was held in contempt by a unanimous vote of the committee and cited with a misdemeanor charge.
Also, the State Attorney General’s Office announced Thursday that an investigation will open to determine if any federal laws were broken.