TRENTON, NJ—The top spokesperson for the Governor’s Office, Michael Drewniak, has announced that he would be leaving his post on Friday, February 27.
The departure comes as Governor Christie continues to pursue a Presidential bid, with speculations that Drewniak would become involved in the 2016 presidential race.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the 53-year-old was not interested in a job with any Presidential campaign, and that it was “unclear” if Drewniak was leaving for another job.
As a primary spokesperson, Drewniak had been a fierce advocate of Governor Christie, fielding questions not only from the press, but also from a federal grand jury investigating the politically-motivated lane closure scandal that rocked the administration.
Drewniak met with David Wildstein, the alleged mastermind of the land closure scheme, at New Brunswick’s Steakhouse 85 as the scandal unfolded in December 2013. Wildstein left the high-paying job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey shortly thereafter.
Over the course of 2014, several other high-level staff within the Governor’s office have left, including Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd, as well as political strategist Bill Stepien.
Years ago, Drewniak had been a reporter at The Star-Ledger, before leaving the paper to work at the U.S Attorney’s Newark Office in 1998.
Chrisitie ended up leading that office after being appointed U.S Attorney by George W. Bush, using its power to charge more than 100 politicians with crimes from 2002 to 2008.
Drewniak joined the Governor’s office soon after Christie was sworn into his current position 2009.
In his capacity as the Governor’s spokesperson, Drewniak fiercely defended Christie and his often controversial decisions and statements.
He had also been known for yelling matches and argumentative emails with reporters, often using foul language.
Profane emails exchanges involving Drewniak, in which he downplayed press coverage of the lane closure scandal, were often quoted and brought up at meetings of a special legislative committee investigating the case.
Drewniak once accidentally emailed New Brunswick Today at 1:44 in the morning, “GAFF of minus 10! A e GAFF record, I do berleve7m.”
“Sorry about that. Was something intended for someone else.”
Award-winning, multimedia journalist with experience in digital first and print-media. Daniel has covered local, state and regional issues, and utilized photography, social media and has written in-depth articles to produce high-quality work.