Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Were Sentenced To Prison

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question during a news conference in Trenton, N.J., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, where he announced that New Jersey will become the first East Coast state to address the shortage of science and math teachers. The state will participate in the Princeton-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program, which offers $30,000 stipends for graduate school in exchange for three-year commitments to teach in high-need urban or rural schools. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Two former cronies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were sentenced to prison Wednesday for the politically motivated “Bridgegate” scandal.

Former Port Authority exec Bill Baroni was sentenced to two years in prison and ex-Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly to 18 months behind bars by a federal judge in Newark.

Both were convicted last year of scheming to repeatedly close approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge in a political revenge plot that snarled rush hour traffic for nearly a week in September 2013.

“Mr. Baroni, I do believe you lost your focus,” Newark federal Judge Susan Wigenton told him.

“You allowed the vision of others you perceived as more powerful than you to cloud your judgment.”

Baroni, a former Garden State pol who Christie named the No. 2 official at the transit agency, also pointed to the role of unindicted co-conspirators — without naming any names.

“I regret more than anything that I allowed myself to get caught up in this,” he told the judge.

“No one else is responsible for my choice … though a number of people outside this courtroom were involved in what happened in Fort Lee that day — some charged and some not.”

Baroni and Kelly, a former top aide to the embattled governor, were convicted last year of scheming to repeatedly close approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge in a political revenge plot that snarled rush hour traffic for nearly a week in September 2013.

Key evidence came from cooperating witness David Wildstein, another Christie appointee to the Port Authority, who admitted conspiring with Baroni and Kelly to “punish” Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for refusing to endorse the Republican governor’s 2013 re-election bid.

Wildstein also testified that Christie laughed while discussing the snarled traffic with him and Baroni during a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at Ground Zero.

Under terms of his plea deal, Wildstein agreed to spend up to 27 months in prison. His sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

Earlier this week, prosecutors asked that both Baroni and Kelly get sentenced “at the bottom or modestly below” guidelines of 37 to 46 months behind bars.

Baroni was allowed to remain free on bail pending appeal. In addition to the prison sentence, Wigenton ordered him to pay $14,000 in restitution.

In 2015, Christie kicked off an unsuccessful campaign for the White House and later became the first failed GOP candidate to endorse now-President Trump, who said on the stump that Christie “totally knew” about the lane-closure scheme.

Christie publicly blamed the scandal as the reason he was passed over as Trump’s pick for vice president, and he also got shut out of a spot in the president’s Cabinet.

Poll results released Monday put Christie’s approval rating at a dismal 20%, with 72% of registered voters saying they disapproved of the job he’s doing.

The Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey marked a slight improvement over the 17 percent Christie notched in a January poll by Quinnipiac University.

That finding tied him for the lowest-ever job approval rating with former governors Brendan Byrne and Jim Florio, whose popularity plummeted for enacting and hiking state taxes, respectively.

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