Bridget Kelly Speaks Out After Resentencing In Bridgegate Scandal
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A central figure in the so-called Bridgegate scandal is telling her side of the story after being resentenced last week to 13 months is federal prison for her role in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scheme.
Bridget Kelly, along with co-defendant Bill Baroni — a former Port Authority executive, was convicted in what prosecutors and a co-conspirator claim was a plot to create gridlock in Fort Lee as political payback against the town’s Democratic mayor who had declined to endorse her former boss, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Kelly authored the infamous “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email a month before the lane closures took effect. Prosecutors said it shows that she was part of the conspiracy but Kelly explains it was a “poor choice of words and writing an email in terrible haste.” She says she was told by David Wildstein, Christie’s high school acquaintance who worked for Baroni at the Port Authority, that this was just a traffic study.
“If I could go back I’d write about a traffic study,” Kelly tells WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “I said it in court when I testified, if I had said, ‘Time for a traffic study in Fort Lee,’ I wouldn’t have been in court.”
Kelly continues to insist she did nothing illegal and now Christie’s former deputy chief of staff wants to control her own narrative.
“I think I’ve been defined by this in a manner that’s not be fair,” she said.
Christie was never charged and has denied wrongdoing. The former governor contends he knew nothing about the scheme, but Kelly disputes that.
“What I know is that he and I had a conversation about this prior to this study taking place, which is what I believed it to be,” Kelly said. “And seven people in court testified that he was aware of this.”
She claims there was a cover-up in the upper level of Christie’s office that reached to the governor himself. She feels she was a scapegoat.
“I called him a coward outside of the courthouse, I mean that cause I don’t understand why the truth changed,” Kelly said.
Kelly was initially sentenced to 18 months but had three months shaved off the term after a federal appeals court tossed out some of the counts against her last fall. Kelly said she could’ve made a deal to avoid prison but that would’ve required her to lie.
Now, the grim reality is staring her in the face.
“A lot of people think it’s over, I’m going to prison in eight weeks for something I didn’t do,” Kelly said. “For me, it will never be over.”
Kelly has four children between the ages of 12 and 22, and she says they’ve learned some painful lessons.
“They know we don’t give up, we don’t give in and we fight for the truth,” said Kelly, who has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.
Neil A. Carousso produced the video interview with WCBS Reporter Peter Haskell.