NJ Politics Digest: Bridgegate Back in News With Appeals Court Decision

Bill Baroni, the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority who resigned amid Bridgegate accusations, led secret negotiations with 32BJ, the powerful affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Bill Baroni, the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority, who was convicted for his part in the Bridgegate scandal. Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

A pair of aides to former Gov. Chris Christie convicted of deliberately blocking traffic on the George Washington Bridge in a case of petty political payback say they’ll take their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after an appeals court let stand two of three convictions against them.

An appellate court threw out Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly’s convictions on federal civil rights charges, but let stand convictions on charges of wire fraud and misappropriation of government resources stemming from the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge intended as political payback to then-Gov. Chris Christie’s political enemies.

Kelly, 45, is Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, while Baroni, 46, is the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority. He is also a former state senator and assemblyman.

Kelly is best known as the author of the infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” that allegedly led to the closing of lanes on the nation’s most-traveled bridge in an attempt to punish a Democratic mayor who would not endorse Republican Christie’s re-election efforts.

Just how much time Baroni and Kelly will serve for their convictions remains in question. The office of U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito told the Record that it is now examining the appellate court decision.
But Carpenito had previously represented Christie against allegations of official misconduct in connection with the Bridgegate case, the Record notes.

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NJ Politics Digest: Bridgegate Back in News With Appeals Court Decision