Kelly Gets 18 Months’ Imprisonment in Bridgegate Case

Bridget Kelly exits the Newark Federal Courthouse in October, 2016. (Photo: Alyana Alfaro for Observer)

NEWARK — Bridget Anne Kelly, one of the defendants in the Bridgegate case, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Wednesday for her role in the 2013 lane realignments on the George Washington Bridge that were allegedly enacted as an act of political retribution against Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich for his decision not to endorse New Jersey governor Chris Christie for reelection in 2013. At the time of the closures, Kelly was serving as deputy chief of staff in the Christie administration.

Before Kelly was sentenced, attorneys for the U.S. Attorney’s office recommended 24 months in prison. Kelly’s attorney Michael Critchley asked the court Wednesday to consider home confinement and probation in lieu of jail time. According to Critchley, the variance in Kelly’s sentence would have been appropriate given that she is a single mother of four children whose “presence is irreplaceable” to her family.

Kelly also spoke on her own behalf. With tears in her eyes, she invoked the names of her children and thanked them for enduring what they have over the intervening years. Kelly also thanked her family and friends.

“I realize how disruptive and frustrating the lane realignment was to the citizens of Fort Lee,” Kelly said. “Those emails and texts do not represent who I am.”

Kelly was sentenced by Judge Susan Wigenton. Her sentence is lower than the 24 months given to co-defendant Bill Baroni. Following her imprisonment, Kelly will serve one year of probation. Kelly also faces hefty fines and restitution payments. Kelly was originally facing 37 to 46 months in jail.

Kelly Gets 18 Months’ Imprisonment in Bridgegate Case