Monmouth Poll: Most New Jerseyans say Christie knew about lane closures
Most New Jerseyans believe Gov. Chris Christie was actually involved in the decision to close toll lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 or at least that he knew about it at the time, according to this morning’s Monmouth University Poll. The first poll taken since the U.S. Attorney announced charges in the Bridgegate case also found that just 1-in-10 Garden State residents believe that the three individuals indicted in the scheme were the only ones involved, the poll finds. (PolitickerNJ Staff)
Wildstein pleads guilty to scheme with Kelly and Baroni
NEWARK – Former Port Authority official David Wildstein today pleaded guilty to a two count information, admitting to a federal judge that he conspired with Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni to close lanes of traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge as punishment to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Newark youth protesters flood federal plaza
NEWARK – An hour removed from the guilty verdict uttered by former Port official David Wildstein, a cavalcade of local youth peacefully stormed the federal courthouse here, yelling “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Chris Christie has got to go! Hey, hey, ho, ho, Chris Christie has got to go!” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Critchley in the face of fed charges: Bridget Kelly is innocent
LIVINGSTON – At a crowded press conference late this afternoon, attorney Michael Critchley said his client, former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, is innocent in the face of charges made official earlier today by David Wildstein and a subsequent federal indictment charging Kelly with participating in a George Washington Bridge-closing scheme. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Trenton Dems react to Bridgegate indictments
NEWARK — The reactions from Democrats in the legislature to the guilty plea of former Port Authority official David Wildstein and the indictments of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly in the federal investigation into Bridgegate are pouring in. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Baroni’s team claims his innocence: ‘No one doubts [Wildstein] is criminal and liar’
NEWARK – The legal team of former Port Authority Deputy Director Bill Baroni said their client is innocent of the charges brought against him today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The attorneys – Mike Baldassare and Jennifer Marra – dismissed the federal courtroom testimony earlier today of David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to a two-count information. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
U.S. Attorney’s Office: The Indictment of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the charges, along with Inspector General Michael Nestor of the Port Authority, Office of Inspector General, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, Newark Division.
William E. Baroni Jr., former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Christie, were each charged by a federal grand jury in a nine-count indictment unsealed today. David Wildstein, the former director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to a separate information charging him with two counts of conspiracy for his role in the scheme. (PolitickerNJ)
Weinberg, Wisniewski: Wildstein Bridgegate admissions ‘sickening’
NEWARK – Moments after David Wildstein, a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official appointed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, pleaded guilty to a scheme to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 as a way to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, the two co-chairs of the state legislative Select Committee on Investigation looking into what is widely known as the Bridgegate scandal expressed both their dismay and their determination to get more answers. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)
Christie’s Grip on Republican Politics in New Jersey Shows Signs of Slipping
At the height of his political celebrity, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey persuaded dozens of Democratic officeholders to back his 2013 re-election campaign. The implied transaction seemed simple: Support a well-liked Republican and win a measure of good will from him, perhaps even some acclaim by association. (Burns/The New York Times)
U.S. Indictment Details Plotting in New Jersey Bridge Scandal
Bill Baroni, Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein waited for the first day of school.
They held off on telling people so their secret would not get out.
They steered cars to a cash lane, to make drivers sweat even more.
For 16 months, only the basic contours of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal have been known: an email called for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee”; a month later, gridlock and an angry mayor. (Zernike/The New York Times)
3 New Jersey Officials Are Cleared of Coercion Against Hoboken Mayor
The revelation in January 2014 that officials in the administration of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey had ordered the closing of lanes to the George Washington Bridge to punish the mayor of Fort Lee set off a squall of allegations from other mayors who said they had also been strong-armed by the governor. (Zernike/The New York Times)
Chris Christie’s not-so-terrible day
The indictments of two former Christie allies in connection to their involvement in the Bridgegate scandal, and a guilty plea from a third, cast a harsh, unflattering light on the New Jersey governor. They rose troubling questions about his administration, and about whether Christie had propagated an environment in which political retaliation wasn’t just tolerated, but was standard operating procedure. (Isenstadt/Politico)
Christie’s Camp Mobilizes to Salvage White House Hopes
Around 7:30 a.m., as an audience of technology executives started streaming through the ballroom doors of a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in suburban Virginia on Friday, Chris Christie’s iPhone buzzed with the grim news he has awaited for 16 months.
Federal charges were coming in the bizarre case of traffic and revenge with which he had become synonymous. (Barbaro and Zernike/The New York Times)
Alston goes after Chiaravalloti in LD31
LD31 Democratic challenger Bruce Alston of Jersey City lunged at his Bayonne rival in the wake of comments Nicholas Chiravalloti made on PolitickerNJ.
The singling out of the Bayonne brand name underscored Alston’s intent to isolate Bayonne and hope for low turnout districtwide to give him a boost with Jersey City’s African American base, in part mobilized by the organization’s support for Chiravalloti’s running mate Angela McKnight.
Alston responded to his opponent’s support for eradicating the Exit 14A turnpike issue. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
HCDO fetes their LD31 Assembly candidates
Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) luminaries joined the LD31 establishment candidates for a fundraising event at the Light Rail in Jersey City Thursday night.
Those honoring the tag team of Nicholas Chiravallotti and Angela McKnight included Speaker Vincent Prieto, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Former Manalapan mayor gets five years
The former mayor of Manalapan, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for defrauding an investment client of $250,000 and submitting a falsified loan application in order to purchase farmland in Monmouth County, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Andrew Lucas, 37, was previously convicted by a federal jury on all 11 counts of an indictment charging him with wire fraud, an illegal monetary transaction, loan application fraud, false statements to the IRS, aggravated identity theft, obstruction of a grand jury investigation and falsification of records in a federal investigation. Lucas was convicted following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, who imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Christie: charges make clear ‘what I said from day one’
NEWARK – Gov. Chris Christie issued a statement in response to guilty verdict of David Wildstein and indictments of Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni.
“Today’s charges make clear that what I’ve said from day one is true, I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of this act,” the governor said. “The moment I first learned of this unacceptable behavior I took action, firing staff believed to be accountable, calling for an outside investigation and agreeing to fully cooperate with all appropriate investigations, which I have done. Now 15 months later it is time to let the justice system do its job.” (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)
Read Wildstein’s full plea deal
David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official who is said to have once been Gov. Chris Christie’s “eyes and ears” at the bi-state agency, pleaded guilty to a two count information today, admitting to a federal judge that he conspired with Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni to close lanes of traffic leading to the George Washington Bridge as punishment to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
Below is Wildstein’s full plea agreement, along with a copy of the factual basis questions from the allocution. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)
Pascrell: ‘safety of constituents callously jeopardized’
Following former Port Authority official David Wildstein’s guilty plea in federal court this morning, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) issued a scathing statement with his finger pointed firmly at the administration of Gov. Chris Christie. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)