Former Aide to Christie Invokes Fifth Amendment Right

Asked about Ms. Kelly’s decision on the air, Mr. Christie said that “it doesn’t tell me anything” and that he respected her constitutional rights.

Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski and State Senator Loretta Weinberg, the Democratic leaders of the panel, issued a statement saying that they had received the letter and that they “are reviewing it and considering our legal options with respect to enforcing the subpoena.”

Ms. Kelly looms as a pivotal figure in the scandal. She is the official who wrote an email in August saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” to another Christie ally, David Wildstein at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Wildstein responded, “Got it,” and together, they were intimately involved in the lane closings, which occurred over four days in September.

Mr. Christie — who repeated on Monday night his insistence that he did not know about the scheme beforehand — later fired Ms. Kelly, and also cut ties with her boss, Bill Stepien, who had been Mr. Christie’s campaign manager in 2009 and 2013.

Still, both Mr. Stepien and Ms. Kelly have now invoked their Fifth Amendment rights, as Mr. Wildstein did during a legislative hearing. With some 18 other subpoenas issued by the State Legislature — which is controlled by Democrats — also outstanding, it is possible that others may also follow suit.

Separately, federal prosecutors are also looking into the bridge scandal, as well as allegations of undue influence in a Hoboken development proposal. Mr. Christie said Monday on the radio program that his office would cooperate with a subpoena issued by the United States attorney’s office in Newark — the office he headed before becoming governor in 2010 — “on a rolling basis.”

“That’s fine,” Mr. Christie said, about the federal subpoena.

Ms. Kelly’s announcement came several days after one of her subordinates, Christina Genovese Renna, the director of the state’s Intergovernmental Affairs, submitted her resignation. Ms. Renna, 32, resigned on Friday, the same day Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer said in a letter that “evidence exists” contradicting the governor’s account about when he learned of the lane closings.

In response to questions about the timing of her departure, Ms. Renna said in a statement released on Sunday that she had been considering leaving since shortly after the election. Her lawyer, Henry E. Klingeman, suggested in an email on Monday that as the investigation by the committee, and a preliminary inquiry by federal prosecutors, moves forward, a decision by his client to leave would be more fraught.

Ms. Renna received a subpoena because on Sept. 12, the fourth and last day of the lane closings, she sent an email from her personal account to Ms. Kelly’s. Ms. Renna wrote that Evan Ridley, a staff member in Intergovernmental Affairs, which was responsible for maintaining a relationship with Fort Lee officials, had received a call from that borough’s mayor, Mark Sokolich. Mr. Sokolich, the email said, was “extremely upset” about the closings, which were causing such severe backup in Fort Lee that “first responders are having a terrible time maneuvering the traffic.”

“Evan told the fine mayor he was unaware that the toll lanes were closed, but he would see what he could find out,” Ms. Renna wrote. Ms. Kelly forwarded Ms. Renna’s email to Mr. Wildstein, who asked Ms. Kelly to call him.

Before joining the Christie administration, Ms. Renna worked as a lobbyist for the Chamber of Commerce, Southern New Jersey, where Debra P. DiLorenzo, the president and chief executive, called her “an exemplary member of our staff.”

Ms. Renna declined to be interviewed for this article, but something about her political outlook might be gleaned from a letter an idealistic-sounding young Christina Genovese wrote to a local newspaper a decade ago.

In it, she complained that few of her “peers have opinions — or even care — about politics” and that “even fewer are registered to vote” as the presidential election approached.

“Our country has given us the opportunity to have a voice in our future,” she wrote, ending her letter with the question, “Why not take it?”

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