Judge Finds Probable Cause in Citizen’s Bridgegate Complaint Against Christie
A Superior Court judge in Bergen County on Thursday said there is enough probable cause for a complaint alleging official misconduct by Gov. Chris Christie to proceed.
The complaint had been filed by citizen activist Bill Brennan, who based his complaint on the testimony of David Wildstein in the federal criminal case of two former Christie appointees accused of plotting the George Washington Bridge lane closures in 2013.
Wildstein, who was a Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to his involvement and testified that Christie was informed of the lane closures, which were hatched as political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.
Christie has denied knowledge or involvement in the scheme and was never charged with any wrongdoing.
A lawyer for Christie called Brennan's claim "intentionally misleading," according to a report on NJ.com, which noted that the courtroom erupted in applause after the judge made his decision.
Christie spokesman Brian Murray told WPG's sister station, New Jersey 101.5, that the ruling is being appealed.
“This is a dishonorable complaint filed by a known serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system," Murray said. "The simple fact is the governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening. This matter has already been thoroughly investigated by three separate independent investigations."
It was not clear how the Bergen County prosecutor, who was appointed by Christie, would handle the matter. It would be up to the prosecutor to present the complaint to a grand jury, which would decide whether to indict Christie.
Former prosecutors who have been observing the case have said there has been no evidence revealed at trial that would justify criminal charges against Christie.