Bridget Kelly and William Baroni, former New Jersey officials under Governor Chris Christie [official website], were found guilty [tweet; US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey] Friday of all counts against them for the 2013 lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Kelly and Baroni were facing nine counts [press release] including conspiring to fraudulently misuse federal property, wire fraud and deprivation of civil rights. The prosecution alleged [WSJ report] that Kelly and Baroni used the lane closings to cause massive traffic jams as an act of revenge against a New Jersey mayor for not supporting Christie’s reelection efforts.
Christie has denied having any knowledge that the closures, implemented under the guise of a traffic study, were to be used as political retaliation. Last month a New Jersey judge signed a summons accusing [JURIST report] Christie of misconduct for his alleged role in the closure of the bridge lanes. Christie was not charged by federal prosecutors or held responsible by other investigations into the George Washington Bridge lane-closure. The charges in the summons come from a citizen’s misconduct complaint. The complaint alleges that Christie “knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes.”