During rush hour on September 9, 2013, lanes of traffic in Fort Lee, NJ were closed for apparently no reason. The resulting backup of traffic caused jams that endangered public safety. Some speculate that the traffic was the cause of 91-year-old Florence Genova’s death. Paramedics were delayed by up to seven minutes, and by the time they reached, Genova had died from cardiac arrest.
Investigators soon discovered that the inconvenience may have been intentional. Email correspondence between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Ann Kelly and a Port Authority official indicate that the closing of the bridge lanes was ordered by Christie’s office. As for the motive behind this brazen misuse of political power, many suspect it was because Fort Lee Mayor David Amlen did not endorse the Governor’s bid for re-election. It is unclear right now the degree of involvement of the Governor himself.
Two members of Governor Christie’s staff were indicted May 1 on nine counts in connection with the lane closures. RHS junior Minha Lee voiced his opinion that “They got what they deserved. Christie cannot manipulate the public’s trust like that.” Public sentiment in New Jersey seems to reflect Minha’s statement. Residents of the area and around the state have protested to hold accountable those responsible for this incident.