Sen­tence pro­ba­tion for ex-Christie aide

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

NE­WARK, N.J. — A for­mer po­lit­i­cal blog­ger and high school class­mate of Gov. Chris Christie’s who mas­ter­minded the 2013 Ge­orge Washington Bridge lane-clos­ing scheme was sen­tenced Wed­nes­day to three years of pro­ba­tion.

David Wild­stein of Sara­sota, Fla., faced 21-27 months in prison un­der a plea agree­ment, but fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors asked that he get pro­ba­tion af­ter his tes­ti­mony last fall helped con­vict for­mer Christie staff mem­ber Brid­get Kelly and Wild­stein’s for­mer su­per­vi­sor, ex-Port Au­thor­ity of New York and New Jer­sey ex­ec­u­tive Bill Ba­roni.

The three “put our faith in a man who nei­ther earned it nor de­served it,” Wild­stein said. “I will­ingly drank the Kool-Aid of a man I’d known since I was 15 years old.”

The three closed ac­cess lanes to the bridge, among the busiest in the world, dur­ing a week in Septem­ber 2013 to cause grid­lock in Fort Lee, whose Demo­cratic mayor had de­clined to en­dorse the Repub­li­can gover­nor’s re-elec­tion. Wild­stein re­ceived an email from Kelly that read, “Time for some traf­fic prob­lems in Fort Lee.”

Kelly was sen­tenced in March to 18 months in prison, and Ba­roni was sen­tenced to 24 months. They have ap­pealed their con­vic­tions.

AP/CRAIG RUT­TLE

David Wild­stein (left), with his at­tor­ney, Alan Ze­gas, leaves fed­eral court in Ne­wark, N.J., on Wed­nes­day af­ter be­ing sen­tenced for his role in the 2013 Ge­orge Washington Bridge lane-clos­ing scheme.

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