The Christie Report cites 4 of his former staffers as being "Involved In The Lane Realignment." Former campaign manager for Christie, Bill Stepien was among the four Bridgegate villains called out by name in the shiny, happy report.
Well, Mr Stepien was having none of that -- none of the scapegoat pie they were serving him ...
by Jason Grant, The Star-Ledger, nj.com -- March 27, 2014
[...]And if the lack of evidence can not make your case, why not try smearing a person's character instead. Well the Christie Report tries to do just that to Bill Stepien (and Ms Kelly) all in one swipe, too:
“After reading the entire 360-page report and watching the press conference, I am left with one question: Why did the governor sever ties with Bill Stepien?” Marino [Stepien’s lawyer] said. “One can search the report in vain for an iota of evidence that Bill Stepien was involved in the planning, the execution, or the concealment of this lane-closure plan. There is no evidence that he ever deceived anyone, including the governor, in any way.”
He added, ““I think it was an ill-considered decision” for Christie to cut ties with Stepien, “and I understand it was made in a hurry.”
“The fact that Mr. Stepien had a brief dating relationship, at a time when both he and Ms. Kelly were single, after he had left the governor’s office’s staff, and that it ended before this lane closure debacle” happened, makes it a “non-issue,” he [Kevin Marino] said.
Once again Mr. Stepien, through his lawyer, was having none of the slander-pie either.
Here are those slices of non-evidentiary pie, ... from the bakers of half-baked pies themselves ...
Report Link source: nj.com
REPORT TO THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY
1. Individuals Involved In The Lane Realignment: Wildstein, Kelly, Stepien, And Baroni
[... pg 115]
c. Stepien’s Conduct, Knowledge, And Motive
We conclude that Stepien had prior knowledge of Wildstein’s idea to do a traffic study, but we found no conclusive evidence that he knew of any ulterior motive for it. And unlike Wildstein or Kelly, he does not appear to have been involved in the decision to implement it. We did not have access to Stepien’s personal email from the relevant time period. He left the Governor’s Office in April 2013 to join the re-election campaign,663 and he has since asserted a Fifth Amendment defense to producing documents in response to a lawfully issued subpoena.664 Therefore, our findings with respect to his conduct, knowledge, and motives are based on all the surrounding circumstances and the documents produced by others in which he is conversing with them about this subject. All that said, while our investigation did not uncover evidence of Stepien’s direct participation in the decision to close these lanes, his email communications during and after the lane realignment are concerning.
First of all, Stepien had prior knowledge of the lane realignment idea before it was implemented by Wildstein and Kelly. To be clear, the precise nature of Stepien’s prior knowledge is undetermined. Wildstein communicated the concept of a traffic study, which Stepien apparently dismissed as one of Wildstein’s “50 crazy ideas.” We found no evidence that Stepien was apprised of any ulterior motives underlying Wildstein’s traffic study idea, nor any specifics, though Stepien’s prior knowledge must be viewed alongside his subsequent communications with Wildstein, Kelly, and Baroni during and after the lane realignment.
During the lane realignment, Stepien was in communication with Wildstein, Kelly, and Baroni. On the fourth day of the lane realignment, September 12, 2013, Stepien was forwarded a letter sent by Mayor Sokolich to Baroni, which stated that the lane realignment had “negatively impacted public safety here in Fort Lee” and had “punitive overtones.”665 Baroni received the letter from Sokolich’s office at 12:44 p.m. and then forwarded it to Wildstein’s personal email account three minutes later at 12:47 p.m.666 Stepien and Kelly then received the letter from Wildstein on their personal emails accounts five minutes later at 12:52 p.m.667 Separately, one minute later at 12:53 p.m., Stepien received the letter from Baroni, who had forwarded the letter to his own personal email account before sending it to Stepien’s personal email account.668 Baroni’s message to Stepien, “Following up,” suggests a prior telephone call or other communication with Stepien.669 The close sequence and absence of any express messages explaining the communication suggests familiarity with the lane realignment.
Well, other lawyers are saying that:
that Christie had knowledge of the lane closures as they happened;
that Christie was in communication with Wildstein on Sept 11th about the events in process, at Fort Lee ...
Wildstein mentioned Fort Lee traffic problems to Christie at Sept. 11 memorial event, lawyer's report says
by Michael Symons, app.com -- March 27, 2014
“It will apparently be Wildstein’s contention -- as he alleged in early December 2013 to Drewniak -- that he mentioned the traffic issue to the governor on that occasion,” says a footnote in the report. “Whatever brief exchange they had occurred in a public setting where they were surrounded by many, including other Port Authority officials, the governor’s wife, and a steady stream of spectators requesting photographs and handshakes with the governor. Not surprisingly, the governor has no recollection of such an exchange.”
The report also says, “There is, however, no evidence we have seen that the governor and Wildstein actually had any substantive discussion of the Fort Lee lane realignment at that public event.”
And Christie denies knowledge of these events that place him squarely "in the know," on the GWB Lane
Who's denials are you going to believe, those who got hung out to dry ... or the denials that appear in a slick slander-for-hire report? -- one that cost the Tax payers of New Jersey, over a million dollars, to make sure the Governor's feigned clueless, might find a plausible sherd of deniability.
And Mr Bill Stepien (and apparently David Wildstein now, too) is having none of that Christie-Knows-Nothing, self-serving pie either.