Supreme Court Takes Up Bridgegate Plotter’s Case

Federal prosecutors introduced this photo at the trial of Bill Baroni and Bridget Ann Kelly over their coordination of lane closures on the George Washington Bridge for political retribution.

WASHINGTON (CN) – Sentenced earlier this spring to over a year in prison for orchestrating a massive New Jersey traffic jam, Bridgegate plotter Bridget Ann Kelly received word Friday that the Supreme Court will take up her appeal.

Per its custom, the justices did not issue any comment in taking up Kelly’s case.

The Bridgegate scandal broke open in early 2014 after the publication of emails and texts between Kelly and two appointees of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie showed that the trio had conspired to shut down two lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge as political payback for their Republican benefactor.

Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni leave federal court after sentencing in Newark, N.J., on March 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Kelly became infamous after one of those communications — an email sent to co-conspirator David Wildstein just before the lane shutdowns were authorized — saying it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The mother of four was Christie’s deputy chief of staff at the time.

Before it ends in upper Manhattan, the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge begins in the busy suburb of Fort Lee. The city has for been led by over a decade by Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who found himself on Christie’s enemies list in 2013 for declining to back his re-election.

Jurors heard testimony about the plot from Wildstein, who pleaded guilty rather than face trial with Kelly and co-defendant William Baroni Jr., and convicted the pair on all nine charges at a seven-week trial in late 2016.

Baroni was sentenced to two years in prison, but that term eventually was cut down to 18 months. He began serving the sentence at Loretto Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania earlier this year.

Wildstein received probation after pleading guilty for his role and in exchange for serving as the government’s star witness.

Kelly is represented by Jones Day attorney Jacob Roth. Baroni is represented by Sidley Austin attorney Christopher Egleson, and U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco will represent the United States.

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