Bridgegate attorneys now look to U.S. Supreme Court after appeal denied

In the wake of a federal court decision that sustained the political corruption convictions of two aides to former Gov. Chris Christie, attorneys for Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly plan to go higher with their appeals.

Kelly’s attorney, Michael Critchley of West Orange, said he intends to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

“While we are pleased that the Third Circuit rejected the civil rights charges, we are disappointed that the court did not similarly reject the government’s unprecedented application to the wire fraud and misapplication statutes. We still believe that the remaining charges are not legally sustainable,” he said.

Michael A. Levy of Sidley Austin, who handled Baroni’s appeal, also said further appellate options were under consideration.

“What remains from this unprecedented prosecution are convictions only for the supposed misapplication of a few thousand dollars of Port Authority resources over less than one week. We disagree that any resources were misapplied and are evaluating further appellate options,” he said.

Baroni, 46, faces 24 months in prison. Kelly, 45, was sentenced to a term of 18 months. They have both remained free on bail while their appeals were argued, but the trial judge in the case could move to revoke bail now that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions of both.

The two were found guilty in November 2016 in plan of political retribution involving the unauthorized shutdown of several local access lanes to the toll plaza of the George Washington Bridge.

Prosecutors said they conspired to cause massive traffic jams in Fort Lee as payback against Mayor Mark Sokolich after he walked away from an expected endorsement during Christie’s re-election campaign for governor.

Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Kelly, who served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff, were charged with misusing the resources of the Port Authority “to pursue a purely personal vendetta.”

Read Third Circuit ruling on Bridgegate appeal:

Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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