CNN: Port Authority Job Was Created For Christie's Friend

CNN: Port Authority Job Was Created For Christie's Friend

This is the guy Christie hardly knew, remember:

(CNN) -- Give him a position at the top of the agency; he's a good friend of the governor.

That's how David Wildstein was introduced to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010, according to a former employee with extensive knowledge of the agency's hiring practices.

Soon after, Wildstein was named the director of Interstate Capital Projects, a title that previously had not existed at the bi-state agency, setting in motion a career that would eventually place the former political blogger at the center of the lane closures controversy at the George Washington Bridge.

Wildstein catapulted into the national spotlight with his response to the infamous e-mail from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's aide: "Time for some traffic problems in Ft. Lee," Bridget Kelly wrote. Wildstein responded, "Got it."

A former Port Authority employee told CNN that agency officials were told in 2010 they had to find a place for WIldstein at the executive level and the directive was coming from Christie's office.

Soon after, the position was created specifically for WIldstein. When Wildstein started, Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, Christie's top appointee at the agency, introduced him to people as a good friend of the governor.

CNN examined documents from the Port Authority showing the names, titles and salaries of nearly 7,000 employees. The reports show that prior to Christie's first term in office there were four people working in the deputy executive director's office, the highest position on the New Jersey side of the agency. When Christie came into office the number increased to six. The documents show that Wildstein's position was created in May 2010.

Sources, including several current and former employees at various levels of the Port Authority who did not want their names used, told CNN it was assumed that when David Wildstein was involved in any discussions at the agency, the information was being passed back to Christie's office.


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