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Chris Christie Says Port Authority Chairman Has Resigned

David Samson, former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Andrew Burton
Getty Images
David Samson, former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has resigned, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a press conference on Friday.

This is the latest development in an ongoing political scandal that involves the politically charged closure of the George Washington Bridge.

The New York Times reports:

"Mr. Christie said he had discussed the matter with Mr. Samson and they agreed that new leadership was an essential part of reforming the multi-billion dollar agency. Mr. Samson's resignation is effective immediately.

"[David] Samson issued a statement on Friday, after Mr. Christie made the announcement at his first press conference in nearly three months.

" 'Over the past months, I have shared with the Governor my desire to conclude my service to the PANYNJ,' he said in a written statement. 'The timing is now right, and I am confident that the Governor will put new leadership in place to address the many challenges ahead.' "

This news comes a day after an investigation ordered and paid for by the governor's office cleared Christie of any wrongdoing. The investigators said Christie had no knowledge of the planned closures before they happened. The investigation also failed to find out why Christie aids ordered the lane closures.

In the press conference, Christie said he had accepted the investigators' recommendation of implementing a full reform of the Port Authority.

The New York Post adds some context:

"Samson was involved in the aftermath of the Bridgegate lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, criticizing in emails a decision by PA Executive Director Pat Foye to reopen the Fort Lee lanes after four days.

"Samson also refused to cooperate in a taxpayer-funded probe ordered by Christie that concluded the governor had no role in the scandal."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is an international correspondent for NPR. He was named NPR's Mexico City correspondent in 2022. Before that, he was based in Cape Town, South Africa.
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