NEWARK - A jury has been selected for the trial of two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie who are charged with deliberately causing traffic gridlock at the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.
The panel of seven women and five men will hear opening statements Monday in federal court in Newark.
Some of the jurors chosen expressed dislike for the governor, but said that they could put their opinions aside and focus on the evidence.
Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly face fraud and civil rights charges. They're accused of reducing access lanes to the bridge in Fort Lee to punish the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie.
Baroni was a top Christie appointee to the bridge authority. Kelly is Christie's former deputy chief of staff. They say the government has twisted federal law to turn their actions into crimes.
“People who know [Bridget Kelly] have to understand that she is not afraid of the truth and she'll have the opportunity for the first time publicly in a federal court to say the truth as it relates to what has been described as Bridge-Gate,” say Kelly’s attorney Michael Critchely.
Kelly and Baroni face nine charges each. They could spend up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Gov. Christie wasn't charged but said he would testify if subpoenaed
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.