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Bridgegate Panel To Begin Calling Witnesses Next Month

“The governor walked in, slammed the door, and stood the whole time,” according to the memo on the Christie interviews. “He was agitated and disappointed. He recalled saying ‘this is a mess, and now I have to clean it up.’ He recalled saying that he hoped everyone enjoyed their 38-day vacation, and was pleased with themselves over the 60-percent victory and the TIME magazine cover, but that it was time to get back to work. He said that ‘the spotlight can turn to a searchlight real quick.’”

Christie had already been told by DuHaime and press secretary Michael Drewniak that Wildstein had told them that both Stepien and Kelly knew of the George Washington Bridge lane closures, but both denied it in face-to-face meetings, Stepien with Christie and Kelly with O’Dowd.

Later that day, Christie announced at a press conference that Baroni had resigned, but did not reveal that he had sent O’Dowd and McKenna to demand his immediate resignation.

Constable’s interview was consistent in his assertion that he never threatened to withhold Sandy aid from Hoboken if Zimmer did not support the Rockefeller Group project represented by Samson. Zimmer said Constable relayed the same threat at a Monmouth University forum on May 16 that Guadagno had made at their May 13 meeting after the Hoboken Shop-Rite opening.

The Mastro report went to great lengths to make that point in a nine-page section that included analysis of Constable’s and Zimmer’s expressions in 11 freeze-frame photos and an interview with Belmar Democratic Mayor Matt Doherty, who was seated on the other side of Zimmer and said he heard no threat.

What the Mastro report inexplicably omitted was Constable’s own testimony that the Rockefeller Group project apparently was raised by Zimmer and discussed.

“At some point, Constable recalled that Mayor Zimmer said something about moving forward with the Rockefeller project,” the Constable interview transcript noted. “Constable believed she used the word Rockefeller, but was not sure. In response, Constable recalled generally saying something to the effect that he did not think she was in favor of commercial development. Constable recalled generally that Mayor Zimmer responded that she was in favor of commercial development in Hoboken."

“Constable recalled that he offered to set up a meeting with Tony Marchetta, the executive director of the NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and Michele Brown, the head of the Economic Development Authority, to discuss commercial development in Hoboken. Mayor Zimmer replied something along the lines of that would be great,” the memo noted.

The substance of this conversation, which never made the Mastro report, followed just three days after Zimmer’s tense talk with Guadagno ended with the lieutenant-governor getting in her car and saying that Zimmer was “not playing ball.”

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