The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, gave his resignation to Christie
(USA TODAY) TRENTON, N.J. — Another official has resigned in wake of a New Jersey investigation into lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday at his first news conference in more than two months.
The chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, gave his resignation to Christie before the news conference, effective immediately, the governor said.
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey are looking at whether Samson helped steer $2.8 billion in construction contracts to companies his law firm represented as well as his role in the traffic jams that snarled Fort Lee, N.J., in the first full week of September.
The 2:30 p.m. ET press conference comes a day after an internal investigation the governor's office requested declared the Republican had no involvement in the politically motivated traffic jams last year.
Democrats have called the report released Thursday a "whitewash" because three officials at the center of the bridge scandal were not interviewed. They are Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, who wrote the infamous e-mail saying, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee"; Bill Stepien, the governor's campaign manager; and David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Lawyer Randy Mastro said the review he conducted is a "vindication" of the governor, who has maintained since December that he did not know of the scheme to cause traffic jams on the busy bridge to exact revenge on a Democratic mayor who declined to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
There are two investigations still ongoing: one by a New Jersey legislative panel and another by the U.S. attorney's office.
New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the legislative panel probing the lane closings, said the internal review "reads more like a novel than a work of fact."
In January, Christie took questions from reporters on the bridge scandal for nearly two hours. Since then, he has resumed holding town hall meetings and has traveled the country in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Christie sat down Thursday with Diane Sawyer of ABC News. He is scheduled to be interviewed Friday by Megyn Kelly of Fox News Channel.
Contributing: Catalina Camia and Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY