Bridgegate aide released from prison

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 20:55:57-04

Bill Baroni, a former New Jersey official convicted in the Bridgegate scandal, was released from prison Monday afternoon following a court order, his lawyer Stephen Orlofsky told CNN.

Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was found guilty in 2016 on charges including conspiracy, fraud and civil rights deprivation in connection with the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

The incident, now known as Bridgegate, was an apparent act of retribution on behalf of then-Gov. Chris Christie. Prosecutors alleged the lane closures were part of a deliberate effort to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who did not endorse Republican incumbent Christie in his 2013 re-election bid.

Baroni was sentenced in 2017 and began serving his 18-month sentence this year.

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly‘s appeal. Baroni identified himself as a respondent in Kelly’s appeal, and requested to be released on bail pending the outcome of the case.

“We’re delighted that Mr. Baroni has been released and we look forward to argument in the Supreme Court,” Orlofsky said.

According to the New Jersey District Court’s order granting bail, filed today, the court found that Baroni is “neither a flight risk nor a safety concern.” The court documents also state that the court determined the appeal raises “substantial questions” justifying Baroni’s release on bail.

Kelly said in a statement last Friday that she is “grateful and encouraged” the Supreme Court decided to hear her case. She was scheduled to report for sentencing this month.