New Jersey Bridgegate mastermind sentenced to probation

Wildstein admitted to masterminding the lane-closure scheme with the intent of punishing Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, who did not support Christie in his 2013 bid for re-election.
By Chad Young | Jul 15, 2017
David Wildstein, the aide to New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie who admitted to conspiring to close access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in an effort to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation.

Wildstein, who pleaded guilty in May 2015, avoided prison because he testified against Bridget Anne Kelley and Bill Baroni, who both were convicted, according to a report by Bloomberg.

In addition to probation, Wildstein was sentenced to 500 hours of community service, fined $10,000, and ordered to pay restitution of $14,314.

Wildstein admitted to masterminding the lane-closure scheme with the intent of punishing Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, who did not support Christie in his 2013 bid for re-election.

"This culminates a sad chapter in the history of New Jersey," said U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton in Newark. "There clearly was a culture and environment in the governor's office that made this outrageous conduct seem acceptable."

Wildstein told the judge he was sorry for his actions.

"I deeply regret my actions at the George Washington Bridge," he said. "It was a callous decision that served no purpose other than to pursue a political agenda against one mayor," adding that he, Baroni, and Kelly had "put our faith in a man who neither earned it nor deserved it."

Both Baroni and Kelly were sentenced to prison terms, with Baroni receiving two years and Kelly getting 18 months. Both are appealing.

U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who agreed with Wildstein's sentence of probation, defended his avoidance of prison by saying, "it is a fair and appropriate system in which the people who substantially assist the government receive a tangible benefit."

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