A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the release of the names of all individuals who allegedly had prior knowledge of a politically-motivated scheme to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013, NJ.com reported.
U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton’s ruling came in response to a February request from several local media outlets, including NJ Advance Media, for the names of all “unindicted co-conspirators” involved in the Bridgegate scandal. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, where New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) once worked, had opposed that request, submitting briefs to the judge that argued all records gathered in the case should remain sealed.
“This court is satisfied that the privacy interests of uncharged third parties are insufficiently compelling to outweigh the public’s right of access,” Wigenton said in the ruling, as quoted by NJ.com.
It is unclear when the U.S. Attorney’s Office would have to release the names, and whether the office plans to appeal the order.
Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, and his erstwhile ally Bill Baroni, the former deputy director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were indicted in the case. Another of Christie’s former appointees at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, struck a plea agreement.
The disgraced officials were accused of orchestrating traffic jams on the Fort Lee, New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge in order to punish the town’s Democratic mayor for refusing to support Christie’s 2013 re-election bid.
Christie has consistently maintained that he had no knowledge of his allies’ scheme.