Christie ally pleads guilty in traffic jam scandal

David Wildstein, right, along with his attorney Alan Zegas, enter Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse in Newark, N.J. Friday, May 1, 2015. Wildstein, a former Port Authority appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is set to plead guilty on charges arising from a federal probe into traffic jams he ordered on the George Washington Bridge, allegedly on behalf of Christie. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
David Wildstein, right, along with his attorney Alan Zegas, enter Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Courthouse in Newark, N.J. Friday, May 1, 2015. Wildstein, a former Port Authority appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is set to plead guilty on charges arising from a federal probe into traffic jams he ordered on the George Washington Bridge, allegedly on behalf of Christie. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A former political ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pleaded guilty for his role in creating traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in 2013 for political retribution.

Former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official David Wildstein made the admissions in a federal court hearing Friday.

He admitted to causing significant traffic problems in Fort Lee in September 2013 in retaliation against the city’s mayor, who did not endorse Christie’s re-election bid, and to using a traffic study as a cover.

He also implicated Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and fellow Port Authority of New York-New Jersey executive Bill Baroni. Both were indicted on nine counts, including conspiracy and fraud.

Kelly was fired by Christie as his deputy chief of staff after the plot came to light.

Wildstein’s attorney, Alan Zegas, said Wildstein deeply regrets his role in the politically motivated lane closures.

Zegas repeated his statement first made in January 2014 that there is evidence that exists to establish that Christie knew about the lane closures while they were occurring. He says more will come out about the case.

Christie has denied any role in the plot and he was not implicated by Wildstein in his guilty plea Friday.

Zegas says that Wildstein has answered thousands of questions from prosecutors and that the government is more than satisfied with his cooperation. He says that investigators are still asking him questions.

Revelations about the traffic jams have become a major cloud over the career of Christie, who is considering running for president next year.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s