The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office this afternoon notified Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol that it would not pursue charges against Governor Chris Christie “based on… review of the evidence and our ethical obligations.”
“A private citizen may not prosecute serious crimes,” First Assistant Prosecutor John L. Higgins concluded.
“The reason is simple, but compelling – that charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” he added.
Last fall, activist William J. Brennan filed a complaint against Christie in Fort Lee Municipal Court, alleging that Christie committed official misconduct in September of 2013.
Brennan, who subsequent to filing his complaint announced his candidacy for governor as a Democrat, claimed that Christie “refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.”
Bergen County subsequently assumed charge of the probable cause hearing where Brennan offered eight pages of selected transcript excerpts from David Wildstein’s Bridgegate trial testimony. A judge found probable cause that the governor committed the second degree crime of official misconduct, which exposed him to 5-10 years in prison.
Today, Higgins pulled the plug on the matter, and Christie rejoiced.
Brian Murray, Press Secretary for Governor Chris Christie, today released the following statement on the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office decision:
“The Governor is gratified that the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has ended this baseless fiasco began by Mr. Brennan and perpetuated by Judge McGeady. After a thorough review, the Prosecutors Office was crystal clear: there is no basis for this charge against the Governor and there was no basis for Judge McGeady to ever have found otherwise. It is right and appropriate that this injustice against the Governor is finally over.”
Read Higgins letter to the judge below: