|Illustration by DonkeyHotey.|
After a 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal, a judge in New Jersey on Friday unsealed indictments against two people close to Gov. Chris Christie, outlining a conspiracy to exact political vengeance against a mayor for his failure to endorse the governor’s re-election.
Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, were charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, including “knowingly converting and intentionally misapplying property of an organization receiving federal benefits.”
The news comes as David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official and a high school friend of Mr. Christie, pleaded guilty at the United States District Court in Newark to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy against civil rights. It also emerged that he had been cooperating with prosecutors for months.
His lawyer, Alan Zegas, reiterated on Friday his client’s contention that “evidence exists” that Mr. Christie knew about the closings as they occurred.