Christie: Ex-New Jersey Transit official's testimony 'false'

Markets Associated Press

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said a former New Jersey Transit compliance officer gave "false and retaliatory testimony" to the Legislature last week.

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Todd Barretta told a joint Assembly and Senate oversight committee Friday he believed there were multiple safety issues with the transportation agency — so much so that he wouldn't let his child ride it.

The Republican governor slammed the testimony as an attempt to manufacture a scandal when asked about it at a ribbon cutting event in Newark on Monday.

"What he did this week was false and retaliatory testimony, urged on by political hacks like John McKeon, who can't find any scandal at NJ Transit, and so they want to try to manufacture one," Christie said.

Barretta had testified before McKeon, a Democratic assemblyman who represents Morris County, alongside other members of the joint committee.

McKeon told NJ.com he believes Barretta's firing in August was political. Barretta was hired as chief compliance officer in April.

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NJ Transit won't comment on Barretta's dismissal due to pending litigation. But the agency said he "brazenly" violated its vehicle policy.

"He was fired because he misused his official car for personal purpose. He was fired because he did the same thing with his personal computer," Christie said.

Barretta didn't respond Tuesday to a request for comment. NJ Transit declined to comment on the governor's remarks.