HACKENSACK - A Bergen County judge has ruled that there is probable cause for an official misconduct complaint to move forward against Gov. Chris Christie, stemming from the Bridge-Gate scandal.
Bergen County Superior Court Judge Roy McGeady made the ruling in a citizens’ complaint filed by Bill Brennan, a Democratic activist in Bergen County.
Brennan filed his action after former Port Authority official David Wildstein testified that he told Christie about the lane closures in Fort Lee at a 9/11 memorial.
“Once [the governor] found out that the lanes were closed and the reason they were closed, he had an affirmative duty to order his subordinates to reopen those lanes,” Brennan says.
The governor's former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly and one of his appointees to the Port Authority, Bill Baroni, are currently standing trial. They are accused of ordering the lane closures to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie's 2013 re-election bid.
In a response to the ruling, Gov. Christie's spokesman Brian Murray said, "This is a dishonorable complaint filed by a known and serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system. The simple fact is the governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening."
Murray also states the ruling will be appealed "immediately."
The judge's order refers the case to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office to decide if there is sufficient evidence for an indictment. The U.S. Attorney, currently prosecuting Kelly and Baroni, has already decided there is not.
The governor is scheduled to hear the charges in court on Oct. 24.