Supreme Court Throws Out Convictions of Chris Christie Aides in ‘Bridgegate’ Scandal
The U.S. Supreme Court has quashed the convictions of two aides to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the infamous ‘Bridgegate’ scandal. The court ruled unanimously that Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni’s 2013 fraud convictions should be vacated.
“Because the scheme here did not aim to obtain money or property, Baroni and Kelly could not have violated the federal-program fraud or wire fraud laws,” ruling said.
“Here, the time and labor of the Port Authority employees were just the implementation costs of the defendants’ scheme to reallocate the Bridge’s lanes—an incidental (even if foreseen) byproduct of their regulatory object,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the court’s unanimous opinion.
“Neither defendant sought to obtain the services that the employees provided,” she said.
‘Bridgegate’ involved shutting down lanes on New Jersey’s George Washington Bridge to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich, who had backed down on endorsing Christie’s reelection. The scandal did much to damage Christie in the public eye.