New Jersey prosecutors announced Friday they will not bring charges against Gov. Christie in a Bridgegate-related case because there is insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. From NJ.com:
Bergen County assistant prosecutor John Higgins said in a letter Friday that the state does not believe it can prove official misconduct beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case stems from a complaint filed by former Teaneck firefighter William Brennan, who subsequently announced a gubernatorial run.
Brennan says that Christie violated the state’s misconduct law when he failed to reopen the lanes that were closed in an alleged political revenge plot to punish a mayor who didn’t back Christie in 2013.
Governor Christie’s office released a statement saying, “The Governor is gratified that the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has ended this baseless fiasco began by Mr. Brennan and perpetuated by Judge McGeady.” It continues, “After a thorough review, the Prosecutors Office was crystal clear: there is no basis for this charge against the Governor and there was no basis for Judge McGeady to ever have found otherwise.” The statement concludes, “It is right and appropriate that this injustice against the Governor is finally over.”
Back in November, Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, were convicted on all counts in a trial based on the lane closures. They could each face up to 20 years in prison but the actual sentence is expected to be much less than that. Kelly is the person who wrote the infamous email which read, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” A third official, David Wildstein, pleaded guilty and has been cooperating with prosecutors.
Christie has maintained from the beginning that he had no knowledge of the lane closures or the political payback scheme that motivated them. The 2013 lane closures were aimed at punishing the Mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey for his refusal to endorse Christie for reelection.