Christie to appear in court over misconduct complaint

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. — An initial appearance by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on a citizen’s complaint that he didn’t intervene in the George Washington Bridge lane closures has been adjourned until next month.

Christie was originally told to appear Oct. 24 at 9 a.m. But a document filed Monday at Superior Court in Bergen County and made public Wednesday shows that the date was changed by “joint stipulation” to Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m.

The single-page court filing, signed by Christie’s attorney, Craig Carpenito, and John Higgins, the first assistant Bergen County prosecutor was approved by Central Judicial Processing Court Judge Roy McGeady on Tuesday.

Carpenito and Higgins could not be reached immediately for comment late Wednesday.

Christie has denied involvement or knowledge of what federal prosecutors say was political payback for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich not supporting Christie’s re-election bid.

The complaint, filed by retired Teaneck firefighter William Brennan, alleges Christie “knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes.”

It also claims residents were “deprived the benefit and enjoyment of their community.”

Christie’s office has called Brennan a “serial complainant with a history of abusing the system.”

Carpenito earlier told the judge that the complaint was “intentionally misleading” and that what Christie knew about the closures was already thoroughly investigated.

Official misconduct is considered a second-degree offense in New Jersey and carries a possible sentence of five to 10 years.

Three investigations into the scandal did not find evidence Christie authorized or knew about the lane closures. Federal prosecutors did not charge Christie after their investigation; a Democrat-led legislative panel failed to find evidence linking the governor to the plot and a 2014 taxpayer-funded report commissioned by Christie found the governor wasn’t aware of the September 2013 closures until afterward.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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