New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced on Thursday he had fired a top aide at the center of a brewing scandal that public officials orchestrated a massive traffic snarl on the busy George Washington Bridge to settle a political score.
The announcement came as the office of the U.S. attorney in New Jersey said it would launch an inquiry into claims that Christie's staff was behind the traffic jam after a local mayor declined to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
"I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team," Christie said. "I am who I am, but I am not a bully."
Christie said he has dismissed his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman has opened a probe into the lane closures, his spokeswoman said.
"The Port Authority Office of Inspector General has referred the matter to us, and our office is reviewing it to determine whether a federal law was implicated," Rebekah Carmichael said in a statement.