Bergen County prosecutor again says he won't pursue Bridge-Gate case against Christie
For the second time, a Bergen County prosecutor says he won't pursue a resident's criminal misconduct case against Republican Gov. Chris Christie over the Bridge-Gate lane closures scandal.
A municipal judge has twice ruled there was probable cause to proceed. But Bergen County first assistant prosecutor John Higgins wrote Thursday he feels the charge can't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Retired firefighter and Democratic gubernatorial candidate William Brennan filed the Bridge-Gate complaint last October, using testimony from the federal trial of two ex-Christie allies who later were convicted. Christie wasn't charged in that case.
Brennan alleges Christie knew about but didn't stop a plot to purposely create gridlock near the bridge to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, who didn't endorse Christie's 2013 re-election campaign. Christie denies involvement in the plot.
Brennan has filed a motion to have a special prosecutor appointed.
"This dismissal is exactly why a special prosecutor is necessary," Brennan said in a statement.
The governor's office released a statement following the prosecutor's announcement.
It said in part, "The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office has reiterated what is the result of now four separate investigations--the governor had absolutely no role in the incident at the George Washington Bridge. All those who wish it were otherwise have again been proven wrong."
The announcement by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office comes on the same day that a judge turned down an appeal by the two defendants in the Bridge-Gate case for an acquittal and new trial.
Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni are expected to be sentenced on March 15 for their roles in the crime.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.