US Governor Faces Lawsuits over Traffic Jam Scandal
Governor of the US state of New Jersey Chris Christie is facing lawsuits over a traffic jam scandal.
Recently-released documents show the governor's officials may have intentionally caused major hold-ups at the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York City.
The governor has apologized, fired a top aide, and jettisoned his chief political adviser.
Federal prosecutors are examining the case.
Meanwhile, it's being reported that six New Jersey residents have launched law suits against Christie.
The lawyer quoted as filing the suit says her clients were late for work and one had a panic attack while stuck in a jam.
New York University law professor Burt Neuborne said the governor could be vulnerable to legal action.
"If an individual creates a climate within his office that encourages people to engage in constitutional violations and then turns a blind eye and says 'I didn't know', that person is guilty of something that we call 'willful blindness'."
Christie had previously assured the public that his staff had nothing to do with the lane closings, and he continues to maintain that he had no personal knowledge about it.
The lane closures clogged the bridge for days, delaying children from getting to school and first responders from emergencies.
Documents show that Christie's aides appeared to close the lanes to punish the mayor of the town of Fort Lee for refusing to endorse the governor during his recent re-election campaign.
The scandal around Christie could cast a shadow over his expected run for the White House in 2016.