New York

Ex-Christie Aide Backs Off on Appeals in ‘Bridgegate' Case

A one-time associate of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is backing off his efforts to appeal his convictions in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

Bill Baroni's lawyers have filed legal papers with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, reported Saturday. They seek to have his case returned to U.S. District Court "as promptly as possible" so a new sentence can be imposed and he can begin serving that sentence.

Baroni is still deciding whether to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyers noted in the filing, but they said such a move would not interfere with his desire to "obtain a new sentence." 

The filing made Friday night comes several weeks after the appellate court upheld most of the convictions against Baroni and Bridget Kelly. They were convicted in 2016 in the alleged plot to cause traffic jams to punish a mayor for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid. 

The scandal helped derail Christie's presidential hopes. Kelly is still appealing her convictions

In a ruling issued Nov. 27, the appellate court dismissed a count of civil rights conspiracy for each defendant, but upheld convictions for wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and misapplying property of an organization receiving federal funds. Baroni and Kelly had sought to have all counts dismissed.

The civil rights count carried a 10-year maximum prison sentence, while the wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy convictions each carry a maximum of 20 years. The misapplying property charge is punishable by up to five years.

Both are expected to be resentenced. Kelly currently faces an 18-month sentence, while Baroni faces 24 months.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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