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WASHINGTON – Chris Christie was in the House. Or rather the court.
In a “you can’t believe it moment,” the former governor was sitting in the courtroom today as the Supreme Court heard an appeal of Bridget Kelly’s conviction in the Bridgegate scandal.
And he was seated in a row that was directly in front of Kelly.
You can’t make it up, can you?
To recap, Both Kelly, who worked in Christie’s gubernatorial office, and Bill Baroni, a muckety-muck with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were convicted in federal court for their involvement in a crazy scheme that closed two of three lanes connecting downtown Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge in September, 2013, presumably to punish the town’s mayor for the sin of not endorsing Christie’s reelection. This caused massive traffic tie-ups in Fort Lee for the better part of a week, inconveniencing untold thousands of people.
Baroni and Kelly were convicted and sentenced to 24 and 18 months respectively. This had to do with messing up traffic on a busy bridge, but in legal speak, the convictions revolved around deceit – they lied to the public about the reasons for the closure – and depriving the Port Authority of its ability to conduct business honestly and properly.
Most of the charges against the pair were upheld on appeal, but a few were dismissed. That reduced the sentences to 18 months for Baroni and 13 for Kelly. Baroni accepted his apparent fate and entered prison. Kelly, however, appealed to the Supreme Court, which surprisingly to some legal observers, agreed to hear the case. And that hearing is set for Tuesday. Baroni by the way was released from custody after the court agreed to hear the case. He has also joined Kelly’s appeal.