Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Key Bridgegate plotter, Wildstein, escapes jail sentence

David Wildstein - Photo Credit: Andrew Kelly, Reuters

** Updated to include NJTV video report**

Nick Corasaniti reports for The New York Times:

NEWARK — David Wildstein, the professed mastermind of the so-called Bridgegate scandal, was spared a prison term during his sentencing on Wednesday for his role in the closing of lanes near the George Washington Bridge as political revenge against a New Jersey mayor, ending one of the final chapters in a bizarre political scandal that grounded the national political ambitions of Gov. Chris Christie.

Mr. Wildstein received his reduced sentence in Federal District Court in Newark because of the central role he played for the prosecution. While he admitted concocting the scheme, his confession was part of a guilty pleathat included eight days of testimony that led to the convictions of Bridget Anne Kelly, a top aide to Mr. Christie, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge.

In their memo to Judge Susan D. Wigenton recommending a probationary sentence for Mr. Wildstein, federal prosecutors argued that “were it not for Wildstein’s decision to cooperate and disclose the true nature of the lane reductions, there likely would have been no prosecutions related to the Bridge Scheme.”

Judge Wigenton sided with prosecutors and sentenced Mr. Wildstein to three years probation and 500 hours of community service.

As the star witness for the prosecutors — Mr. Wildstein was the recipient of Ms. Kelly’s now infamous message, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” — few moments in the weeks-long trial last year were as polarizing as Mr. Wildstein’s eight days of testimony.

Related news stories

Bridgegate mastermind sentenced to three years probation (NJTV News video above)
Wildstein says he talked to the feds about more than just Bridgegate  ( 

Bridgegate Mastermind David Wildstein Avoids Prison (CBS NY)

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