Ex-Chris Christie aide Bridget Kelly sentenced to 13 months in 'Bridgegate' scandal

A senior staff member for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was sentenced Wednesday to 13 months in prison for her role in the “Bridgegate” scandal.

As the New Jersey District Attorney’s office had alleged, Bridget Anne Kelly, 46, was serving as the Republican governor's deputy chief of staff when she “manufactured traffic problems” near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in 2013 to “punish” Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie during his bid for reelection.

Kelly was convicted in November 2016 on seven counts including conspiring to misuse, and actually misusing, property of an organization receiving federal benefits and conspiring to commit, and actually committing, wire fraud.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, right, was sentenced to over a year behind bars.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly, right, was sentenced to over a year behind bars. (AP, File)

She initially was sentenced to 18 months in prison but later appealed, and in November 2017, only five of the seven convictions were upheld. On Wednesday she was re-sentenced to 13 months in prison.

As court documents claimed, after learning that Sokolich would not be backing Christie, Kelly conspired with former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority William E. Baroni and David Wildstein, the former director of Interstate Capital Projects at the Port Authority, to trigger traffic congestion on the George Washington bridge and throughout the surrounding community on what was the first day of the school year, to punish the mayor.

The trio, all of whom have been convicted and sentenced, had agreed to reduce lanes and toll booths without giving notice to Sokolich’s office and ignored contact with him during the manufactured traffic jam from Sept. 9 to Sept. 13, 2013, investigators said.

“The three conspirators concocted and promoted a sham story that the lane reductions were for a traffic study. They created and advanced this cover story so they could use Port Authority property, including the time and services of unwitting Port Authority personnel and other resources, to implement the lane and toll booth reductions and conceal their true punitive purpose,” the DA’s office said in a press release.

Kelly's attorney, Michael Critchley, asked the court to consider the emotional and psychological effects the trial had on Kelly and her family, saying that that amounted to punishment. "The shrapnel of Bridgegate that affects the Kelly family is embedded. It's gonna be there forever," he said.

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He also questioned why Christie, Wildstein and two other former officials, whose names came up during the trial but who went unindicted, seemed to face no punishment.

Baroni previously was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Wildstein was sentenced to three years probation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.