Sentence probation for ex-Christie aide
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.
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.