By Keith Laing - 01/08/14 05:08 PM EST
House Transportation Committee member Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) said Wednesday that he “only knows what [I] read in papers” about the allegations New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) closed lanes on a bridge in an act of political retribution.
Christie, who is thought to be a likely 2016 presidential candidate, came under intense fire on Wednesday when emails surfaced linking officials in his gubernatorial administration to the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J. in September 2013.
The bridge lane closures came as Christie was in the midst of ranking up a 22 victory over New Jersey State Sen. Barbara Buono (D).
LoBiondo, who is a member of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, professed to have no knowledge of the allegations against Christie beyond the newspaper reports Wednesday.
Christie has been accused of targeting Fort Lee, N.J.’s Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich for declining to endorse his bid for re-election.
Christie said Wednesday afternoon that he was “outraged” by the reports that members of his administration participated in discussions with New Jersey state transportation officials about closing the bridge lanes.
“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable,” Christie said in a written statement. “I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.
“One thing is clear: This type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better,” Christie continued. “This behavior is not representative of me or my Administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions.”