Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for her role in creating traffic jams over the George Washington Bridge to punish a mayor who didn’t endorse Christie’s reelection, the Associated Press reported.
But Kelly, a single mother of four children, is appealing the conviction, and she claims that Gov. Christie had full knowledge of her behavior in the 2013 scandal, which is widely referred to as “Bridgegate.”
"I will not allow myself to be the scapegoat in this case,” she told reporters after the sentencing on Wednesday. Kelly infamously sent the “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email used as evidence in her trial, but she is alleging that her behavior was authorized by Gov. Christie as a “traffic study.”
U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton said that the “traffic study” was clearly a cover for political revenge against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
Bill Baroni, Christie’s appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was also sentenced to two years in prison. Both must also do 500 hours of community service.
Kelly cried during the sentencing and apologized for her behavior, as did Baroni.
Christie claims that he didn’t know about Bridgegate until months after the fact, which was contradicted by Kelly and testimony from other witnesses, reported Time. Prosecutors have thus far declined to charge him in the scandal.