Another Monday, and another week ahead of working on federal criminal cases here in Atlanta and the remainder of the State of Georgia (and other parts of our Nation from time to time). I have to take a few minutes to write about the unanimous decision from the United States Supreme Court last week in the much-watched case of Bridget Kelly and her co-defendant, William Baroni. This is the somewhat famous “Bridgegate” prosecution, and in the end the highest court in the land once again told federal prosecutors they are trying to stretch the federal fraud laws far too wide.
Way back in 2013, folks who worked for and with Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey purposefully messed with the traffic pattern on the George Washington Bridge in order to punish the mayor of a nearby town who would not support Christie’s reelection bid. This led to four days of gridlock on the streets surrounding the bridge, after which the original pattern was restored. Bridget Kelly was the Governor’s deputy chief of staff, and along with William Baroni, came up with a bogus traffic pattern study as the so-called rationale behind the lane close-downs. The two officials were later charged with federal crimes for supposedly hatching and then executing the plan to mess with the traffic pattern as part of political “payback”. Continue reading