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Law Firm Hired to Investigate Bridgegate Scandal Criticized by Judge
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Kelly Baroni Bridgegate

Summary: Law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher received harsh words from a federal judge for not keeping the notes taken during critical witness interviews of the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Despite receiving criticism from a federal judge, the law firm in charge of investigating the George Washington Bridge fiasco was given a break for not carefully keeping the notes taken during witness interviews. Attorneys for the defendants in the case had requested copies of the notes to question their authenticity but U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton denied the request, stating there was no reason to believe the notes had not been taken at some point.


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher had been hired by Gov. Chris Christie to investigate the high-profile political case but did not properly conduct a transparent and thorough investigation that tax payers are footing the bill for. Wigenton explained in her decision, “It is easy to see why defendants have cried foul. This court shared the defendants’ frustration. Although GDC did not delete or shred documents, the process of overwriting their interview notes and drafts of the summaries had the same effect. This was a clever tactic, but when public investigations are involved, straightforward lawyering is superior to calculated strategy.”

The defendants in the case are William Baroni, former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, former deputy chief of staff to Christie. They were indicted in May 1 from the incident in September 2013 where local access lanes on the bridge were abruptly shut down. Federal prosecutors believe this was done to intentionally create traffic problems in Fort Lee since Mayor Mark Sokolick would not back Christie during his 2013 re-election bid.

Former Port Authority patronage appointee under Baroni, David Wildstein, has already pled guilty for his role in the scheme, indicating that Baroni and Kelly are not as innocent as they declare. The case for the two is supposed to go to trial in April.

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