NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The federal trial of two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie in the Bridgegate scandal has been delayed again.
The judge issued a new schedule last week that pushes the trial date for former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly, and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official Bill Baroni, back from early March to April 4. Defense attorneys requested the extra time to review documents.
Originally, the trial had been set for this past July. It was later set to begin this month, and then in September, Newark U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton had earlier moved it to the March date.
Kelly and Baroni pleaded not guilty in May. They were named in a nine-count indictment after a yearlong investigation.
Another defendant, David Wildstein, who went to high school with Christie and later became a top official in the Port Authority, pleaded guilty in May to two criminal counts. He admitted that he helped plot lane closures in Fort Lee on an approach to the George Washington Bridge as political payback against that community’s Democratic mayor for failing to support Christie’s re-election campaign.
Wildstein admitted that he talked with Kelly and Baroni about how the bridge’s access lanes could be used as leverage against Mayor Mark Sokolich.
Prosecutors claim Baroni and Kelly conspired with Wildstein to make sure the bridge shutdown happened Sept. 9, the first day of school – even ignoring emails from Fort Lee’s mayor that emergency crews were being jammed.
The four days of traffic jams were apparently triggered by an email from Kelly to Wildstein saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
“Got it,” Wildstein replied.
Kelly told reporters in May that she was not guilty of the charges and called Wildstein “a liar.”
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