FORT LEE, NJ - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has scheduled a news conference after emails and text messages revealed his administration may have closed highway lanes to exact political retribution.
The governor will answer questions at the Statehouse at 11 a.m. eastern time Thursday.
Christie issued a statement Wednesday saying he was "outraged and deeply saddened" by the revelations. He said he was misled by a key aide and he denied involvement.
The revelations thrust a regional transportation issue into the national political spotlight. They raise new questions about the prospective Republican presidential candidate's leadership on the eve of his a second term designed to jumpstart his road to the White House.
Meanwhile, a news organization is reporting that the traffic delays on the George Washington Bridge discussed in e-mails by a top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delayed emergency workers trying to respond to four calls, including one involving an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died.
In two of the four cases, response times doubled, the Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J., reported.
The news organization based its report on a letter documenting the incidents written by EMS coordinator Paul Favia and sent to Fort Lee, N.J., Mayor Mark Sokolich.
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Emergency workers took seven minutes to reach the 91-year-old woman, who died of cardiac arrest at a hospital, the Record reports. Favia did not say in his letter that her death was directly attributable to the delays, but he did write that paramedics were so delayed by the traffic that they had to meet the ambulance on the way to the hospital instead of at the scene.
On Sept. 9, EMS workers took seven to nine minutes to reach the scene of a vehicle accident in which four people were hurt, though the response time should have been under four minutes, the letter says according to the Record.
The responders also took almost an hour to reach a building where someone was suffering from chest pains because of standstill traffic, the Record reports.
E-mails of Christie staffers made public indicated the traffic jam was set up to spite Sokolich, a Democrat who did not support the Republican Christie in his re-election bid in November.