Firing of Christie aide echoes earlier dismissal of former education chief Schundler

Governor Christie’s statement Thursday that he fired senior staffer Bridget Anne Kelly after being “misled” about the George Washington Bridge traffic jam has echoes of an episode when he fired his education commissioner more than three years ago.

In August 2010 Christie claimed that his education chief at the time, Bret Schundler, lied to him about a bungled application for $400 million in federal Race to the Top funds. But Schundler fiercely disputed the charge that he misled the governor and quickly showed reporters emails to prove his case.

“The governor called me a liar,” Schundler wrote in a seven-page chronology of events relating to the application. “I have no choice now but to defend my name.”

At the time, a Christie’s spokesman said Schundler was engaging in “revisionist history.”