Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday distanced himself from the controversy surrounding the George Washington Bridge, telling reporters that the ongoing investigations into the scandal should focus on finding out what happened and who deserves blame.
Speaking to reporters Saturday in Harlem following a stop at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Cuomo said he has spoken to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie regularly “because we have a lot of joint activities obviously going on between our states.”
But Cuomo said he had no knowledge of what went on at the bi-state Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last year, when lanes on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge were shut down, apparently as an act of political retribution by Christie’s staff.
“Well I think we should do one thing at a time, find out exactly what happened here, when, who’s to blame,” Cuomo said Saturday. “The second question would then be if there’s procedures that need to be changed, if there were rules that were violated at the Port, then obviously we should look at that.”
Cuomo was asked twice about an email sent in September by Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, a Cuomo appointee who said he was outraged by the closures and believed the lane closures violated state and federal law.
“I think he made it clear that he didn’t know and that was in the email that he released. It was done on the Jersey side of the bridge, and the Jersey officials handled it,” Cuomo said. “When Foye did find out, he was clearly shocked and surprised and not happy.”