US

Bridge executive: Defendant wanted lanes to stay closed

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich arrives at Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Court for a hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in Newark, N.J. Three years after gridlock paralyzed a New Jersey town next to the George Washington Bridge for four days, two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie are being tried. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich arrives at Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Court for a hearing, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in Newark, N.J. Three years after gridlock paralyzed a New Jersey town next to the George Washington Bridge for four days, two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie are being tried. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the agency that operates the George Washington Bridge has testified that one of the defendants charged with causing gridlock for political retribution tried to persuade him to keep the traffic lanes closed.

Patrick Foye is executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

At the trial of two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Foye said Wednesday that deputy executive director Bill Baroni asked him to reclose access lanes after Foye ordered them reopened.

Baroni and former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly are charged with creating traffic jams to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie in 2013.

Foye testified Baroni said the closures were "important to Trenton," which Foye presumed meant Christie's office.

Christie isn't charged.