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TRENTON — An aide to Gov. Chris Christie who resigned Friday is married to a top executive of a company that tried to build a controversial gas pipeline through the environmentally sensitive Pinelands region — a plan the governor's office unsuccessfully sought to get approved.

The relationship has drawn fire from environmentalists who call it a conflict of interest -- and say the Christie administration forced an anti-pipeline Pinelands Commission member to recuse himself from a vote on the project because they alleged he had a conflict.

Christina Genovese Renna, who had been director of intergovernmental affairs for Christie, is married to Michael J. Renna, president and chief operating officer of South Jersey Industries, the parent company of South Jersey Gas, which wanted to build the pipeline.

The 22-mile pipeline between Maurice River Township and Beesleys Point was rejected after a deadlocked 7-7 vote by the Pinelands Commission last month. Environmental advocates had said it was being rushed through. and accused Christie administration officials of trying to strong-arm opponents.

The Christie Administration's tactics to get this pipeline approved are stomach-turning. Christie forced one of the members of the approval commission to recuse himself because he was also a member of the Eastern Environmental Law Clinic. Ooh big conflict of interest there. Luckily, the group still deadlocked 7-7, effectively killing the project.

Christina Renna, the wife, worked in the Governor's office, reporting to Bridget Kelly, who wrote the infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email. Tonight, Rachel Maddow said that Renna's resignation does not make her subpoena go away.

This new natural gas angle fits in nicely with the entire GOP worldview. One wonders if this really might unravel all the way up to the Koch Brothers!

Big h/t to AnnetteK, who found this story.

Originally posted to Animal Nuz on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 07:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Christie Investigations.

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