Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized for highway lane closures apparently ordered by his aides as political retribution, said he had "no knowledge or involvement" in what happened and sought to assure New Jerseyans the actions are not typical of the way his administration does business.
"This is the exception, not the rule," he told a news conference.
Christie, who had previously assured the public his staff had no involvement in the road closings, said he had fired Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly "because she lied to me."
Kelly was the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents suggest she arranged traffic jams to punish Fort Lee's mayor for not endorsing Christie.
The revelations thrust a regional transportation issue into a national conversation raising new questions about the ambitious governor's leadership on the eve of a second term designed to jumpstart his road to the White House.