'Bridgegate:' Chris Christie won't be charged in scandal

Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 28, 2017

NEW YORK (CNN) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won't be charged with misconduct in the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal, Bergen County prosecutors said Friday.

The prosecutor's office said it did not think it could prove the charge in court.

A statement from a governor's spokesman thanked Gurbir S. Grewal's staff for ending "this baseless fiasco."

"It is right and appropriate that this injustice against the governor is finally over," spokesman Brian Murray said.

A probable cause hearing over a criminal summons was scheduled for next Thursday in municipal court. The New Jersey resident who filed the complaint and summons believes the hearing will still be held.

Bill Brennan told the New York Daily News he intends to be at the court, help establish probable cause and request a special prosecutor. It is unclear whether the hearing will still be held. CNN reached out to Brennan for comment but didn't get an immediate response.

In a letter to Judge Bonnie Mizdol, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor says citizens cannot prosecute serious crimes, such as the one Brennan alleges in his complaint.

In that complaint, Brennan accused the Republican governor of official misconduct saying Christie "knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, that had been closed with purpose to injure Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich."

For days in September 2013, lane closures on the George Washington Bridge snarled traffic in Fort Lee, which is just across the river from Manhattan.

A prior request by Brennan for a special prosecutor was denied.

Prior decision reversed

In October, Judge Roy McGeady conducted a probable cause hearing and ruled there was cause that Christie should be tried on a misconduct charge. But Mizdol earlier this month overruled the probable cause decision and sent the case back to McGeady.

Two people have been convicted in the scandal over the lane closures.

Christie's former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were convicted in November of conspiracy, fraud and civil rights violations.

Brennan's complaint was filed on the heels of testimony in the their trial.

Christie has long denied knowing about the closures.