Former Chris Christie Aide Gets 13 Months in Jail Over Bridgegate as She Slams Him as a ‘Coward’
"Mr. Christie, you are a bully, and the days of you calling me a liar and destroying my life are over," Bridget Kelly said after she was sentenced for her role in "Bridgegate"
A former Chris Christie aide sentenced to 13 months in prison for her role in “Bridgegate” lashed out at her former boss, calling him a “coward” and a “bully” as he continued to deny any knowledge of the scandal.
Bridget Anne Kelly was sentenced Wednesday in the corruption case, which stemmed from the 2013 toll lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey, for four days as part of an apparent revenge scheme.
She was convicted in November 2016 along with Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority. Both were found guilty of all seven charges they faced, including conspiracy, fraud and civil rights deprivation.
Speaking from a prepared statement after her sentencing, Kelly, 46, ripped into the former New Jersey governor, questioning how “all these men” were able to “escape justice.”
“Chris Christie was allowed, without rebuttal from anyone, to say out of one side of his mouth that I was a low-level staffer,” she said, according to NJ.com. “A woman only good enough to plan menus and invite people to events. Then say out of the other side of his mouth that I was somehow powerful enough to shut down the George Washington Bridge. There is one person, only one, and he was powerful enough to approve this act.”
She continued, “Just because someone has the title of governor, doesn’t give them the right to mislead others. It’s dishonorable. And it only shows that person for the coward he is.”
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Kelly then addressed Christie directly, vowing, “Mr. Christie, you are a bully, and the days of you calling me a liar and destroying my life are over. The truth will be heard, and for the former governor, that truth will be unescapable, regardless of lucrative television deals of even future campaigns.”
“Bridgegate” was concocted by admitted mastermind David Wildstein, a former Port Authority executive, as part of a revenge plot against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich after the Democrat refused to endorse the Republican Christie’s re-election campaign as expected.
Though Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty, reportedly testified that he told Christie about the plot, Christie has maintained that he knew nothing of the plan.
“As I have said before, I had no knowledge of this scheme prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them. No credible evidence was ever presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary is simply untrue,” the former governor said in a statement to NJ.com after Kelly’s sentencing.
Kelly, meanwhile, testified in October 2018 that she told Christie about the toll lane closures ahead of time and got his approval for what she believed was a traffic study.
“He said, ‘All right.’ He didn’t really react. He said that’s fine. He said, ‘How is the relationship with Mayor Sokolich’ of Fort Lee?” Kelly said, according to Philly.com. “And I didn’t know. I really didn’t know.”
Wildstein previously testified that the traffic study was simply a cover-up, according to NJ.com.
The outlet reports that Kelly’s defense attorney Michael Critchley asked Judge Susn Wigenton for a home confinement sentence, but had his request denied, with the judge citing texts and testimony as evidence.
“So many people were affected by this,” she said. “That gets lost in all this.”
Christie was never charged in the scandal, though it cast a shadow over the Republican’s bid for the presidency in 2016.