High court dismissals don’t bring close to ‘Bridgegate’ saga

FILE - This combination of March 29, 2017, file photos shows Bridget Kelly, left, leaving federal court after sentencing in Newark, N.J., and Bill Baroni leaving federal court after sentencing in Newark. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

NEWARK, N.J. — The “Bridgegate” saga isn’t over yet, even though a federal judge is expected to officially end the criminal case against three defendants who were convicted or pleaded guilty.

A lawsuit filed in 2014 by some residents and businesses in Fort Lee claiming their constitutional rights were violated by the gridlock, is progressing after being on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court last month tossed the convictions of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly. The two were aides for former Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who wasn’t charged.

The U.S. attorney’s office wrote this week to the federal judge who presided over the 2016 criminal trial requesting the indictments be formally dismissed. The office also requested that the judge reverse the guilty plea of David Wildstein, who worked for Baroni at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the George Washington Bridge where traffic lanes were realigned.

The Fort Lee lawsuit names Baroni, Kelly and Wildstein as well as the Port Authority. All have denied the allegations. Claims against the state of New Jersey and Christie’s re-election campaign were previously dismissed.

A different federal judge will determine whether the Port Authority can file a motion to have the case tossed or whether more legal issues must be addressed first.