'Bridgegate' Official David Wildstein Joked About Targeting Rabbi With Traffic Jam

Aide Admits Using Tactic on George Washington Bridge

Traffic Czar: David Wildstein, an operative of Gov. Chris Christie, invokes the Fifth Amendment at a legislative hearing into the so-called Bridgegate scandal.
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Traffic Czar: David Wildstein, an operative of Gov. Chris Christie, invokes the Fifth Amendment at a legislative hearing into the so-called Bridgegate scandal.

By Michael Kaplan

Published February 27, 2014.
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The Jewish ex-New Jersey official at the center of Gov. Chris Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’ scandal joked about manufacturing a traffic jam at the home of a local rabbi, documents released as part of the investigation show.

David Wildstein, the Christie appointee who admitted ordering lanes closed on the George Washington Bridge, suggested causing trouble for Rabbi Mendy Carlebach of South Brunswick, N.J.

“We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?”, Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff wrote to Wildstein.

The seemingly comical exchange took place six days after Kelly wrote that it was “time for some traffic problems” in Fort Lee, where a Democratic mayor had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection bid.

In the exchange with Kelly, Wildstein also jokes about holding up plane flights to Israel.

“Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” he wrote.

The exchange began after Wildstein sent a photo of Carlebach. Wildstein added that the rabbi “has officially pissed me off,” without elaborating.

“I think this qualifies as some sort of stalking,” Ms. Kelly responded. “You are too much.”

Reached by The New York Times, the rabbi said that he was unsure why Christie’s aide would be angry with him. Carlebach has served as an appointee of Christie on the Jersey-Israel Commission since 2011. In that capacity, he also traveled to Israel with the governor on an “economic mission” to increase trade between Israel and New Jersey.

Wildstein resigned as a senior official in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey following the scandal, saying that it had become a “distraction.”


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