Bridget Kelly, Bill Baroni guilty in 'Bridgegate' trial

- A guilty verdict was reached Friday in the trial of Bridget Ann Kelly- former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Bill Baroni- former executive director of the Port Authority- who were accused of plotting to close lanes to the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

Prosecutors said the move was political revenge on the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for re-election. 

Kelly cried as the verdict was read, while Baroni showed no emotion.

The most serious charges carry up to 20 years in prison.

Baroni spoke to reporters outside Newark Federal Courthouse saying he was "innocent of these charges."

Kelly's attorney addressed the media first. While she did not speak, Kelly was clearly emotional, crying as she stood next to him.

The federal jury took five days to reach a verdict in the scandal that helped sink Christie's Republican campaign for president. The ruling came before the judge ruled on a request by defense attorneys to declare a mistrial in the case.

Kelly and Baroni claimed they thought the lanes were being closed as part of a legitimate traffic study conceived by a bridge authority official who has since pleaded guilty.

The former Port Authority official, David Wildstein, testified that Baroni and Kelly knew the goal was to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.


Kelly and Baroni face nine counts each including conspiracy, wire fraud, deprivation of civil rights and misapplying Port Authority property. The wire fraud conspiracy counts carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

The verdict caps a trial that cast doubt on Christie's claims he knew nothing about the scheme.

Christie issued the following emailed statement Friday:

"On January 9, 2014, I apologized to the people of New Jersey for the conduct exhibited by some members of my Administration who showed a lack of respect for the appropriate role of government and for the people we serve. Those people were terminated by me and today, the jury affirms that decision by also holding them responsible for their own conduct."

"Like so many people in New Jersey, I'm saddened by this case and I'm saddened about the choices made by Bill Baroni, Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein. Today's verdict does not change this for me."

"But let me be clear once again, I had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them. No believable evidence was presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary over the past six weeks in court is simply untrue."

"As a former federal prosecutor, I have respected these proceedings and refused to comment on the daily testimony from the trial. I will set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom."

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