Prosecution rests Bridge-Gate case

Bridge-Gate defendant Bill Baroni leaves the Newark Federal Courthouse. The prosecutor concluded its portion of the case.

Bridge-Gate defendant Bill Baroni leaves the Newark Federal Courthouse. The prosecutor concluded its portion of the case. (10/13/16)

NEWARK - The prosecution has rested its case against two former allies of Gov. Chris Christie charged in the George Washington Bridge access lane-closing trial.

The trial of former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and former bridge authority executive Bill Baroni is in its fourth week.

They're charged with arranging the closure of lanes that lead to the bridge in Fort Lee to cause traffic jams in town. This was allegedly done to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich who didn't support Christie's 2013 re-election.

Jurors on Thursday saw video of Baroni's testimony before a state legislative committee in 2013 in which he says the lane closures are part of a traffic study. Prosecutors contend that was a cover story to hide the nature of the scheme.

Prosecutors closed with testimony about Kelly from an FBI agent who discovered that Kelly deleted emails about the lane closures.

Both defendants will now have their cases presented in court.

Baroni’s attorneys first called Charles McKenna to the stand. McKenna is Gov. Christie’s former chief counsel.

McKenna testified that when confessed Bridge-Gate mastermind David Wildstein turned in his resignation, Wildstein said he was responsible for the lane realignment and did not mention Baroni or Kelly.

Baroni’s defense team says they have five or six witnesses who will testify. Baroni and Kelly are also expected to take the stand.

Gov. Christie is not facing any federal charges in the scandal, but a Bergen County judge ruled Thursday that there is probably cause for an official misconduct complaint stemming from the lane closures.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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