Chris Christie aides sentenced in Two former aides to New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie were sentenced Wednesday for their role in a political revenge plot involving traffic jams at the country's busiest bridge, a scandal that sank the Republican's presidential aspirations. Bill Baroni, 45, was the first of two former Christie allies to be sentenced Wednesday after being convicted in November of all the counts against them, including wire fraud, conspiracy and using the bridge for improper zales jewelry purposes. He was sentenced to two years in prison. Bridget Kelly, Christie's deputy chief of staff at the time of the traffic jams, was sentenced to 18 months. The government's star witness, David Wildstein, testified that Baroni and the co defendants plotted to cause gridlock to retaliate against the Democratic mayor of nearby Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie's reelection. Fort Lee was plunged into gridlock for four days in September 2013. Text messages and emails produced at trial showed Mayor Mark Sokolich's increasingly desperate pleas for help being ignored by Kelly and Baroni. "I let a lot of people down who believed in me and relied on me. Most of all I let Mark Sokolich down. That was my choice and my responsibility. Judge Susan Wigenton before she sentenced him. "I was wrong and I am truly sorry, and I've waited three years to say that." Wigenton said Baroni misled a state legislative committee when he said the traffic study was legitimate, and later misled the jury at his trial with the same contention. Barbara Demick, Matt Hansen New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not on trial himself, but his political career was jolted stores that sell pandora bracelets by the conviction Friday of two close associates who orchestrated the traffic jam from hell at the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor who wouldn't endorse the governor's reelection bid. The jury. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not on trial himself, but his political career was jolted by the conviction Friday of two close associates who orchestrated the traffic jam from hell at the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor who wouldn't endorse the governor's reelection bid. The jury. (Barbara Demick, Matt Hansen) "It was completely intended to wreak havoc," she said. "It only served a punitive purpose. You clearly knew, and know today, that it was not" legitimate. Atty. Lee Cortes said that Baroni's time as a state lawmaker, lawyer and schoolteacher gave him the experience and judgment to conduct himself ethically. "But when Bill Baroni was put to the test and made a choice, he chose to abuse his official power. And then he chose to lie about it," Cortes said, calling Baroni's conduct real pandora charms "brazen, calculated, and a mean spirited abuse of power" that had "real life consequences radio australia app on the people he was supposed to serve." The scandal derailed Christie's presidential aspirations and likely cost him a chance to be President Trump's running mate. While the sentencing was happening Wednesday, Christie was at the White House to launch a drug addiction task force. Questions remain over when, and how much, Christie knew about the plan to realign access lanes from Fort Lee to the bridge's upper level. The bi level bridge is considered the busiest in the country. The position was created for Wildstein, according to testimony. Christie was not charged with any wrongdoing.
But his version of events that he was not aware that anyone in his office was involved until months after the fact was contradicted by testimony from Baroni, Kelly and Wildstein. In addition to focusing on dozens of text messages and emails exchanged between the co conspirators including Kelly's infamous email testimony at the trial painted an unflattering portrait of the Christie administration's modus operandi. Christie was described as cursing and throwing a water bottle at Kelly over an apparently innocent question and another time leaving a profane and threatening voicemail for a county officeholder who had angered him.
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