Christie accepts official’s resignation in bridge controversy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R, accepted the resignation of a port authority official who ordered the closures of lanes on a major thoroughfare, creating a political controversy in the Garden State. 

Amid a growing Democratic uproar, Christie said he had accepted the resignation of Bill Baroni, the deputy executive director of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority, and a former state Republican lawmaker. 

Baroni has become a target of scrutiny for having ordered the closure of two lanes on the George Washington Bridge, one of the busiest thoroughfares between New York and New Jersey, in September. The lane closings created massive gridlock in Ft. Lee, N.J., the mayor of which had declined to endorse Christie's re-election.

The political appointee identified as having ordered the closing, David Wildstein, resigned from his position as the port authority's director of interstate capital projects last week.

Democrats have characterized the lane closings as retribution by Christie against political opponents. 

Christie on Friday "unequivocally" denied ordering the lane closures, and said he was personally not well-acquainted with Ft. Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.