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Governor Christie: I Am Heartbroken And I'm Sorry

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Published on Jan 9, 2014

Trenton, 1-9-2014. (Transcript Below)

Governor Christie: I come out here to this office where I've been many times before and I come out here today to apologize to the people of New Jersey. I apologize to the people of Fort Lee and I apologize to the members of the state Legislature.

I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team.

There's no doubt in my mind that the conduct that they exhibited is completely unacceptable and showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and for the people that we're trusted to serve.

Two pieces to what I want to talk about today.

The first is, I believe that all of the people who were affected by this conduct deserve this apology and that's why I'm giving it to them. I also need to apologize to them for my failure as the Governor of this state to understand the true nature of this problem sooner than I did. But I believe I have an understanding now of the true nature of the problem and I've taken the following action as a result: this morning I've terminated the employment of Bridget Kelly, effective immediately. I've terminated her employment because she lied to me. I brought my senior staff together I think about four weeks ago tomorrow. And I put to all of them one simple challenge: If there is any information that you know about the decision to close these lanes in Fort Lee, you have one hour to tell either my chief of staff, Kevin O'Dowd, or my chief counsel, Charlie McKenna.

I told them that in an hour I was going to go out in a press conference, and if no one gave me other information to the contrary that I was going to say that no one on my staff was involved in this matter.

Over the course of the next hour, Kevin and Charlie interviewed each member of my senior staff, came back and reported to me that they all reported that there was no information other than what we already knew that had been testified to by Senator Baroni regarding this incident. I then questioned Kevin O'Dowd and Charlie McKenna directly, since they are the only two who report directly to me, and they assured me that they had no information that would change my ability to be able to say that no one, in response in Angie's question, on my staff was involved in this matter.

That was obviously a lie. And the e-mails that I saw for the first time yesterday morning, when they were broken in I believe the Bergen Record story, proved that that was a lie. There's no justification for that behavior. There's no justification for ever lying to a governor or a person in authority in this government. And as a result, I've terminated Bridget's employment immediately this morning...

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