Top aide to Chris Christie sentenced to 13 months for role in "Bridgegate"

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Chris Christie tells his story in new book

Bridget Kelly, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's deputy chief of staff, was sentenced in federal court to 13 months in prison Wednesday for her role in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal, commonly known as Bridgegate.

Kelly and Bill Baroni, a top Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official, were originally convicted in 2016, but a federal appeals court threw out some of the counts against the two last year. Baroni had his sentenced reduced to 18 months in February. Kelly was initially sentenced to 18 months.

Kelly and Baroni were accused by prosecutors of orchestrating lane closures in Fort Lee, on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, in retaliation for town's Democratic mayor not supporting Christie in his successful 2012 re-election bid. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," she wrote in a now-infamous email to David Wildstein, a top Port Authority official who pleaded guilty in 2015 for his role in the scheme.

In a statement following her sentencing, Kelly blamed Christie — who has denied all involvement — for orchestrating Bridgegate.

"Chris Christie was allowed – without rebuttal from anyone – to say out of one side of his mouth that I was a low-level staffer…a woman only good enough to plan menus and invite people to events – then say out of the other side that I was somehow powerful enough to shut down the George Washington Bridge," Kelly said. "There's only one person. Only one. And he was powerful enough to approve this act."

She also called Christie a "bully" and said "the days of you calling me a liar and destroying my life are over."

Christie, meanwhile, continued to deny any involvement.

"As I have said before, I had no knowledge of this scheme prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them. No credible evidence was ever presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary is simply untrue," Christie said Wednesday.

First published on April 24, 2019 / 5:07 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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