Latest on traffic jam scandal: US Attorney: No other charges

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Chris Christie Ally Expected to Plead Guilty in Bridge Scandal

4:10 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie's former deputy chief of staff says she is innocent of charges that she schemed to shut down traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

Bridget Kelly said at a news conference Friday she never conspired with David Wildstein and called him a liar. Wildstein has pleaded guilty.

She also says it is "ludicrous" for the indictment to suggest that she was the only person in Christie's office who was aware of the bridge issue.

Christie was not implicated in the indictment.

Prosecutors say Kelly started the scheme with a text message to Wildstein reading "time for some traffic problems" in Fort Lee.

She says she is embarrassed by some of the text messages she sent and was trying to be sarcastic or humorous.

___

3:10 p.m.

The New Jersey mayor who was the alleged target of a political retribution scheme to shut down traffic lanes in his town says hearing from federal prosecutors about the case was an emotional experience.

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich says "it was a true punch to the gut" and that he feels bad about being in the middle of it.

Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein has pleaded guilty and said the lanes were shut down in September 2013 to cause massive traffic jams as payback for Sokolich's refusal to endorse Gov. Chris Christie for re-election.

It was the first time authorities said the Democrat's refusal to support the Republican governor was the reason for the shutdown.

___

2:50 p.m.

Gov. Chris Christie's office says Friday's George Washington Bridge scandal indictment confirms his previous statements that he didn't know about the scheme.

The statement notes that Christie has said from the first day news of the lane closures emerged that he had no knowledge or involvement in the planning, motivation, authorization or execution of the decision.

Christie was not implicated in the scheme or in former ally David Wildstein's guilty plea.

Christie's top appointment to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Bill Baroni, was charged along with his former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly.

Baroni's lawyer denies the charges. Kelly's lawyer plans an afternoon news conference.

Christie fired Kelly after the scheme became public and Baroni resigned.

___

2:35 p.m.

A lawyer for a former Port Authority official charged in a politically motivate lane closure scheme says his client is innocent and is being accused by a political figure who is a habitual liar.

Bill Baroni's attorney, Michael Baldasarre, told reporters Friday that the accusations against Baroni are false and that former Christie ally David Wildstein is a habitual liar.

Baldasarre says David Wildstein lied to Baroni about a traffic study that prosecutors say was a cover story for the plot. He says he lied to a judge Friday about Baroni's role in the scheme. Wildstein has pleaded guilty.

Baroni and co-defendant Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, will be arraigned Monday at 11 a.m.

Kelly and her lawyer are scheduled to hold a news conference at 4 p.m.

__

1:30 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says that he is not planning on charging anyone else in a politically motivated lane closure scheme based on the evidence now available to him.

A former ally of Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday and two other allies were charged in the scheme to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (SAHK'-oh-lich) because he refused to endorse Christie in his re-election bid.

Fishman declined to comment on David Wildstein's attorney's statement that there is evidence that exists to establish that Christie knew about the lane closures while they were occurring. Alan Zegas first made those statements in January 2014.

Christie has not been implicated in the scheme.

___

1:20 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says that a guilty plea by a former ally of Gov. Chris Christie gives some answers about what happened with a politically motivated lane closure scheme.

Fishman says David Wildstein plotted with Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich (SAHK'-oh-lich) because he refused to endorse Christie in his re-election bid.

Fishman says they deliberately waited until the first day of school in September 2013 to further hurt Fort Lee residents.

Wildstein has pleaded guilty. Kelly and Baroni were charged in an indictment unsealed Friday. Their attorneys plan to comment on their cases Friday afternoon.

Christie has not been implicated in the scheme.

___

1 p.m.

Two former allies of Gov. Christie Christie will have more to say now that they've been indicted on charges stemming from the 2013 lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

Bridget Kelly has scheduled a news conference in Livingston at 4 p.m. Friday. Kelly will discuss the charges with her lawyer.

Bill Baroni's lawyer will discuss the indictment following a news conference by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

They are charged with nine counts, including conspiracy and fraud.

Both were implicated in the plot by former Port Authority executive David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Friday. He could face about two years in prison at sentencing Aug. 6.

___

12:15 p.m.

Two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie have been indicted on charges related to their alleged role in creating politically motivated traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

An indictment against Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni was unsealed Friday after it was filed on April 23.

Kelly was fired by Christie as his deputy chief of staff after the plot came to light, and Baroni resigned from his job as deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

They are charged with nine counts, including conspiracy and fraud.

Both were implicated in the plot by former Port Authority executive David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Friday. He could face about two years in prison at sentencing Aug. 6.

An attorney for Baroni says he is reviewing the indictment and will comment later Friday. Kelly's attorney wasn't immediately available.

___

Noon

The lawyer for a former ally of Gov. Chris Christie who pleaded guilty for his role in creating traffic jams says more will come out about the case.

David Wildstein's attorney, Alan Zegas, said Friday that Wildstein deeply regrets his role in the politically motivated lane closures of the George Washington Bridge.

Zegas repeated his statement first made in January 2014 that there is evidence that exists to establish that Christie knew about the lane closures while they were occurring.

Christie has denied any role in the plot and he was not implicated by Wildstein in his guilty plea Friday.

Zegas says that Wildstein has answered thousands of questions from prosecutors and that the government is more than satisfied with his cooperation. He says that investigators are still asking him questions.

___

11:45 a.m.

A lawyer for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's former deputy chief of staff says he has been told that she will be indicted.

Michael Critchley told The Associated Press on Friday that Bridget Kelly will be indicted.

Former Christie ally David Wildstein pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts for his role in the scheme Friday and implicated Kelly and fellow Port Authority of New York-New Jersey executive Bill Baroni.

Baroni's lawyer said earlier Friday that he had not received word on whether his client would be indicted.

Wildstein admitted to causing significant traffic problems in Fort Lee in September 2013 in retaliation against the city's mayor, who did not endorse Christie's re-election bid, and to using a traffic study as a cover.

Christie was not implicated in the scheme.

___

11:35 a.m.

A former political ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pleaded guilty for his role in creating traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in 2013 for political retribution.

Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein made the admissions in a federal court hearing Friday. He admitted to causing significant traffic problems in Fort Lee in September 2013 in retaliation against the city's mayor, who did not endorse Christie's re-election bid, and to using a traffic study as a cover.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark is holding a news conference on the case later Friday.

Revelations about the traffic jams have become a major cloud over the career of Christie, who is considering running for president next year.

___

11:30 a.m.

A former ally of Gov. Chris Christie has admitted to his role in politically motivated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

David Wildstein admitted Friday that he caused traffic problems to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich because he refused to support Christie's 2013 re-election effort.

Wildstein is cooperating with prosecutors' investigation of the lane closures and has told a judge he plans to plead guilty.

The former official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey admitted that he talked about how the bridge's access lanes could be used as leverage against Sokolich with former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and Port Authority executive Bill Baroni.

He says they agreed to ignore communications form Sokolich about the traffic jams.

___

11:20 a.m.

Prosecutors say a former ally of Gov. Chris Christie is cooperating with them in their investigation of politically motivated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in 2013 as he told a judge he plans to plead guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Cortes told U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in a hearing Friday that David Wildstein is cooperating. He waived his right to be indicted.

Wildstein has filed a form with Wigenton seeking to enter a guilty plea. He signed the plea agreement on Jan. 21.

Wingenton says he will be sentenced Friday.

Wingenton says the 53-year-old will be released on a personal recognizance bond of $100,000 and will be required to surrender his passport.

Wildstein was an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the tie-ups.

___

11:10 a.m.

A former ally of Gov. Chris Christie who is expected to plead guilty for his role in politically motivated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in 2013 has entered a courtroom with his attorney.

A person with knowledge of the case says David Wildstein is scheduled to plead guilty Friday morning. The person wasn't authorized to release the information before the hearing and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Wildstein was an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the tie-ups.

He entered the courtroom at the federal courthouse with attorney Alan Zegas.

Wildstein was smiling as he greeted someone in the front row.

-Associated Press writer Josh Cornfield contributed from Trenton, New Jersey.

___

9:30 a.m.

Gov. Chris Christie has declined to comment on an expected guilty plea by one of his former political allies in politically motivated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

A person with knowledge of the case says David Wildstein is scheduled to plead guilty Friday morning. The person wasn't authorized to release the information before the hearing and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Christie declined to comment Friday morning as he left a hotel in McLean, Virginia, after speaking at a technology breakfast,

Wildstein was an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the tie-ups. He arrived at federal court in Newark around 8:45 a.m. Friday with his attorney.

-Associated Press writer Josh Cornfield contributed from Trenton, New Jersey.

___

8:45 a.m.

A person with knowledge of the case says a former political ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to plead guilty for his role in politically motivated traffic tie-ups near the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

David Wildstein was an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the time of the tie-ups. He arrived at federal court in Newark around 8:45 a.m. Friday with his attorney. A court hearing is set for 11 a.m.

The person wasn't authorized to release the information before the hearing and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. attorney's office will hold a news conference at 1 p.m.

Two of the three access lanes in Fort Lee to the bridge were closed for four mornings in September 2013, causing jams throughout the streets.

Wildstein resigned months later amid revelations that he ordered lanes closed in Fort Lee for political retribution.

-Associated Press writer Josh Cornfield contributed from Trenton, New Jersey.

___

7:30 a.m.

Federal prosecutors have announced a court proceeding involving the 2013 traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge, an investigation that has loomed over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as he considers a presidential run.

An 11 a.m. court hearing is scheduled for Friday, and the U.S. attorney's office will hold a news conference at 1 p.m.

The office, which Christie led before stepping down in 2008 to run for governor, has not said who will appear in court or any other details.

Two of the three access lanes to the bridge in Fort Lee were shut down for four mornings in September 2013, causing massive delays.

An aide to Christie emailed a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," initiating the shutdowns.


29 PHOTOS
Christie 'Bridgegate' press conference and aftermath
See Gallery
Latest on traffic jam scandal: US Attorney: No other charges
Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participate in the morning session of the National Governor's Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attend "Howard Stern's Birthday Bash" presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Jon Bon Jovi attend 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waits for the start of a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to representatives from Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. Fellow Republicans are assessing the damage of new allegations that Gov. Christie knew about a traffic-blocking operation orchestrated by top aides.(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, center, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, display different reactions as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, left, speaks during a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to representatives from Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. Fellow Republicans are assessing the damage of new allegations that Gov. Christie knew about a traffic-blocking operation orchestrated by top aides. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waits for the start of a ceremony to pass official hosting duties of next year's Super Bowl to representatives from Arizona, Saturday Feb. 1, 2014 in New York. Fellow Republicans are assessing the damage of new allegations that Gov. Christie knew about a traffic-blocking operation orchestrated by top aides. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. Faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but that the issue doesn't define his team or the state. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives to deliver his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J.Faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but that the issue doesn't define his team or the state. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center right, delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration ?let down the people we are entrusted to serve? but that it doesn?t define his team or the state. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration ?let down the people we are entrusted to serve? but that it doesn?t define his team or the state. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, second left, arrives at Fort Lee, N.J., City Hall, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Christie traveled to Fort Lee to apologize in person to Mayor Mark Sokolich. Moving quickly to contain a widening political scandal, Gov. Chris Christie fired one of his top aides Thursday and apologized repeatedly for the "abject stupidity" of his staff, insisting he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams to get even with a Democratic mayor. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
FORT LEE, NJ - JANUARY 09: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enters the Borough Hall in Fort Lee to apologize to Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. According to reports Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is accused of giving a signal to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, allegedly as punishment for the Fort Lee, New Jersey mayor not endorsing the Governor during the election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
FORT LEE, NJ - JANUARY 09: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves the Borough Hall in Fort Lee where he apologized to Mayor Mayor Mark Sokolich on January 9, 2014 in Fort Lee, New Jersey. According to reports Christie's Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is accused of giving a signal to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, allegedly as punishment for the Fort Lee, New Jersey mayor not endorsing the Governor during the election. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Governor Chris Christie talks to a reporter following a visit to Fort Lee Borough Hall Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in Fort Lee, N.J. to apologize to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich about the governor's staff allegedly closing lanes to the George Washington Bridge last September. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
TRENTON, NJ - JANUARY 9: David Wildstein (R) former director of interstate capital projects for the Port Authority and his attorney Alan Zegas (L) is sworn in to testify at a hearing held by the Assembly Transportation Committee January 9, 2014 in Trenton, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. The committee has subpoenaed David Wildstein former director of interstate capital projects for the Port Authority to testify about the agency's decision to temporarily close some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in September 2013. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 at the Statehouse in Trenton. N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walks to the podium before a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. Christie has fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied. Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly is the latest casualty in a widening scandal that threatens to upend Christie's second term and likely run for president in 2016. Documents show she arranged traffic jams to punish the mayor, who didn't endorse Christie for re-election. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
In a Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 photo, traffic moves across the George Washington Bridge, in Fort Lee, N.J. A top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is linked through emails and text messages to a seemingly deliberate plan to create traffic gridlock in a town at the base of the bridge after its mayor refused to endorse Christie for re-election. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly wrote in an Aug. 13 email to David Wildstein, a top political appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey and New York City. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A car uses an onramp to the George Washington Bridge toll plaza in Fort Lee, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. The onramp was closed for three days in September 2013 snarling traffic at one of the world's busiest bridges, which links New Jersey and New York City. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie faces political fallout over the traffic jam that caused hours-long backups for commuters and others as children started the school year.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Capitol Hill reporters watch a news conference with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while waiting for House John Boehner's of Ohio news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Boehner said he believes Gov. Chris Christie remains a serious contender for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, despite the traffic jam scandal engulfing the New Jersey governor.
This June 12, 2013 photo released by NBC shows host Jimmy Fallon, right, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Chistie during a taping of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Lloyd Bishop)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners