FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) A Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official is resigning his post effective Jan. 1, saying a controversy over a mysterious traffic problem on the George Washington Bridge has become "a distraction."

David Wildstein's resignation was first reported by The Record ( ). The newspaper obtained a copy of his resignation letter, submitted Friday. In the letter, he says he intended to leave the agency next year but was resigning early because of the "Fort Lee issue."

New Jersey lawmakers this week ordered two Port Authority officials to testify on Monday about unannounced lane closures in September.

Officials say the September lane closures, which backed up traffic in Fort Lee, were for a traffic study and deny suggestions that they were orchestrated by Gov. Chris Christie as political retribution. The closures were canceled after three days because of gridlock.

Wildstein, the Port Authority's director of interstate capital projects, was appointed by Christie and is seen as one of the governor's chief allies in the bistate agency.

Others have told New Jersey lawmakers that it was Wildstein who called for bridge traffic patterns to be studied.

Christie has denied any involvement in closing lanes.


Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.),