It seems like a lifetime ago, but at one point in the not too distant past, New Jersey governor Chris Christie was a front runner in the race to become the Republican candidate for president. One of the reasons Christie’s candidacy was derailed was the scandal that came to be known as “Bridgegate”, where members of Christie’s inner circle were accused of purposefully creating a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge as payback for a perceived political snub.
On Wednesday, two of these individuals were convicted on criminal conspiracy charges. Reports the Washington Post: “Two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their roles in a conspiracy to shut down the nation’s busiest bridge — an act of political retribution dubbed “Bridgegate” that is thought to have seriously damaged Christie’s career, though he himself was not charged with a crime.”
“William E. Baroni Jr., 45, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and Bridget Anne Kelly, 44, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, was sentenced to 18 months, according to the Justice Department. The two were convicted late last year of conspiring to tie up traffic on the George Washington Bridge to get revenge on a local mayor who refused to support Christie’s re-election bid.”
Hopefully these convictions will send a message politicians and their staff members, who may sometimes feel pressured to cross ethical and legal lines in the service of their political higher-ups.