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Amid bridge scandal, Port Authority chairman resigns

David Samson was appointed in 2011.

Getty Images/File

David Samson was appointed in 2011.

NEW YORK — Seeking to move past a scandal that has embroiled his administration and threatened his political future, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey on Friday announced the resignation of the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson.

Christie, in his first news conference in nearly three months, said he had discussed the matter with Samson and they agreed that new leadership was an essential part of reforming the multibillion-dollar agency, which is at the center of the controversy involving the closing of several lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September.

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Samson is the the highest-ranking public official to resign during the scandal.

The authority, which operates the bridge and other vital transportation hubs in the region, is overseen jointly by Christie and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.

Christie’s news conference came a day after a law firm hired by his administration released an internal report that stated the governor was not involved in the decision to close the traffic lanes, which led to four days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J.

Samson came under scrutiny after e-mails were made public showing that he had derided his New York counterpart at the authority, who ordered the lanes reopened. Christie said there was nothing to indicate Samson, 74, had done anything wrong.

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