Sunday, May 3, 2015

Bridgegate: Christie Cronies Kelly, Baroni and Wildstein Indicted

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Christie Talks, Bridget Strikes Back, Samson Quits, Wildstein Still an Outcast
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Christie Faces Bad Karma for Dissing Wildstein
Chris Christie and the #BridgeGate #BridgeGhazi #BridgeNado
Chris Christie Explains But Holes Remain
David Wildstein Implicates Chris Christie in Bridgegate Scandal
Christie's Well-Named Minion Bridget Kelly


Federal prosecutors have indicted three of Chris Christie's cronies in the Bridgegate scandal: David Wildstein and Bill Baroni who were appointed by Christie to the Port Authority, and Bridget Ann Kelly, one of Christie's underlings in the Governor's office.

Wildstein is cooperating with Federal Prosecutors and is not expected to serve a long sentence in exchange for information. Baroni and Kelly are still holding out that they didn't conspire with Wildstein or Christie himself to close the George Washington Bridge on the first day of school in September in order to punish mayor of Fort Lee, NJ (a Democrat) for refusing to back Governor Christie in his election.

Originally, the trio and others in the Governor's inner circle swore that there was a "traffic study" to blame for the lane closures, but that was a bogus claim. On the first day of the closure, Kelly herself wrote to Wildstein in a now-infamous email which stated "Time for a few traffic problems in Fort Lee." Traffic was so snarled that some first responders and emergency vehicles were delayed in getting to places where people needed help. It is speculated that Federal Prosecutors are are involved because the Port Authority is shared by New York City, and blocking such a major thoroughfare in or out of New York is considered a danger to Homeland Security.

View David Wildstein's Plea Agreement Here
View Baroni-Kelly Indictment Here via NYTimes

In emails previously made public, Kelly appeared to give the go-ahead for the lane closures on Aug. 13, 2013, when she wrote: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” and Wildstein replied, “Got it.” Later emails showed what appeared to be an indifference to the plight of borough children stuck in the massive traffic jam on their way to school.
. . . “Is it wrong that I’m smiling,” Kelly wrote, later adding that “I feel badly about the kids. … I guess.” Wildstein responded dismissively that “they are the children of Buono voters.” After Sokolich sent a text message to Baroni complaining that children were late getting to school, Kelly emailed Wildstein: “Bottom line is he didn’t say safety.”
. . . Prosecutors said the plan wasn’t put into effect until Sept. 9, the first day of school, to “intensify Mayor Sokolich’s punishment,” and that the idea to push it back came from Baroni, who had “recommended against implementing the plan in August when travel was traditionally lighter and the punitive impact would be lessened.”

This week Bridget Kelly made a public statement pleading innocence:

"I am not guilty of the crimes for which I have been accused," Kelly said during a press conference with her attorney, Michael Critchley, after prosecutors unsealed a federal indictment. . . . "David Wildstein is a liar," Kelly said.

Baroni did not speak, but his attorney made a statement also labeling Wildstein a "Liar" who led his client astray with false "traffic study" documents:
. . . one of Baroni's attorneys, Michael Baldassare, asserted that Wildstein provided him with scores of documents that "would lead anyone to believe" that a legitimate traffic study was being conducted.
"No one disputes that David Wildstein is a criminal and a liar," Baldessare said during a news conference Friday afternoon outside the courthouse. "If David Wildstein was willing to repeatedly lie to settle a petty political grudge, no one should be surprised at his eagerness to concoct any story he thinks will help him stay out of federal prison."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Six Baltimore Police Officers Indicted by Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby

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Previous Related Post:
Baltimore Burning Over Death of Freddie Gray


It was an epic day for justice in Baltimore, Maryland, when State Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby stepped up to a microphone and stunned the world by announcing the indictment of six officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray.

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From the Baltimore Sun
State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby charged the driver of the van with second-degree murder and the other officers with offenses that included involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, false imprisonment and misconduct in office. The officers were taken into custody Friday and released on bail.
"These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie," said Richard Shipley, stepfather of the 25-year-old Gray, who died April 19, one week after he was injured in police custody.
. . . After weeks of tension and occasional violence, it felt as if many exhaled in relief Friday. Gray had become the focus of massive demonstrations, here and in other cities, as the latest in a string of African-American men who died during confrontations with police.
The case stood in stark contrast to others across the nation in which police officers were cleared of wrongdoing in the deaths of black men. Grand juries declined to indict the officer who put a chokehold on Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., or the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

From Jennifer Bendery on Huffington Post

Who Is This Objectively Badass Attorney Running The Freddie Gray Investigation?
. . . Mosby's news marks a huge turning point for people around the country demanding justice for yet another black man killed by police, for a city torn apart by the drug war and economic disparity, and for Mosby herself.
She was just four months into her job when she was tasked last month with investigating Gray's death. She had never held elected office before November. And at 35, Mosby is the youngest chief prosecutor of any district.
Those details gave city residents reason to doubt her abilities, something even her biggest supporters have conceded. Before her current job, Mosby had been counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance for three years and an assistant state's attorney for five years.
On Friday, though, Mosby emerged as the voice that so many in Baltimore needed to hear. She gave a detailed description of what happened to Gray the day he was arrested and said officers ignored his requests for medical attention. She let the findings speak for themselves.

Huffington Post Headline 5-2-2015

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