Governor Chris Christie with Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long in August, 2013, just days before lanes to the George Washington Bridge were shut down as part of an alleged campaign of political retaliation. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
WARNING: The F bomb and other profanity appears in this post.
By JOHN T. WARD
The Bridgegate trial underway in federal court in Newark served up some scatological testimony Wednesday about a purported expletive-packed exchange between Governor Chris Christie and former Red Bank Councilman (now Monmouth County Freeholder) John Curley.
According to various reports, a former Christie staffer, Christopher Stark, described a volcanic phone call between the two Republican pols after Curley referred to the governor as a “fat fuck,” an insult Curley acknowledges he leveled, in so many words.
From the Asbury Park Press website, app.com:
Stark said Curley called him with a “curt” message after [Hurricane] Sandy because Curley believed Christie was taking credit for recovery efforts in the aftermath of the 2012 storm, when local elected officials like Curley were doing the work on the ground.
According to Stark’s testimony, Curley said, referring to Christie, “Who does that fat fuck think he is?”
Stark, a former regional director in the governor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, said Christie then called Curley to express his displeasure.
“Who the fuck do you think you are calling me a fat fuck?” Stark testified Christie said. “I’m the fucking governor of this state.”
Christie then told Curley to be at an event in Keansburg the next day or “I will fucking destroy you” with robo calls to tell Republicans not to vote for him, Stark testified. Curley was seeking reelection in 2012.
Curley told the Press a different version of the account, but acknowledged insulting the governor, saying he had once asked Christie staffers at an event, “so where is the fat motherfucker?”
From the Press:
“He yelled for a good 10 minutes. ‘F-this, f-that and the other thing,'” Curley said. Curley said he apologized to Christie because he thought it was wrong to make fun of someone’s physical attributes.
According to the Courthouse News Service, “Before Christie would let Curley back into the fold, Stark said, Curley first had to stand behind Christie at an event.”
The trial, in the courtroom of Judge Susan Wigenton, has seen more than its share of crude language, with a defense lawyer referring to government witness David Wildstein as a “miserable prick” and an “asshole.”
Curley was a Red Bank councilman, as both a Democrat and a Republican, and ran for mayor in 2006 before he moved to Middletown and gave up his seat in 2008. He was also running for freeholder, and lost his first bid for the post before winning on a second try a year later.
Wigenton is married to Red Bank municipal public defender Kevin Wigenton.