Bridget Anne Kelly

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Bridget Anne Kelly
Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of New Jersey
In office
April, 2013 – January 9, 2014
Preceded by Bill Stepien
Succeeded by Louis C. Goetting
Personal details
Born Bridget Anne Daul
(1972-12-18) December 18, 1972 (age 45)
Ramsey, New Jersey
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Joseph Kelly (1995–2012; 4 children)
Residence Ramsey, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Mount St. Mary's University

Bridget Anne Kelly (née Daul) is the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie. Kelly, a New Jersey native, grew up in Ramsey and graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy in 1990.[1] She graduated from Mount St. Mary's University in 1994 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.[2]

She began her government career by working as a legislative aide to Assemblyman David C. Russo, later becoming Russo's chief of staff.[2][3][4] In 2010, Kelly became Director of Legislative Relations under Governor Chris Christie. In April 2013, Christie appointed her to be his Deputy Chief of Staff.

On November 4, 2016, Kelly was convicted for her involvement in the "Bridgegate" affair.[5][6] She was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on March 29, 2017.[7][8][9]

Fort Lee lane closure scandal[edit]

On November 4, 2016, Kelly was found guilty in connection with the four-day closures of entrance ramps to the George Washington Bridge in the late summer of 2013, in part of what has been described as politically motivated retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey.[10]

On August 13, 2013, Kelly sent an eight-word e-mail to David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to the board of commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, that read, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."[11] Wildstein responded to Kelly's e-mail: "Got it." In a texting exchange the next day, Wildstein relayed to Kelly a text from Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich in which he complained about the traffic jam and said, "The bigger problem is getting kids to school. Please help. It's maddening." Kelly replied, "Is it wrong that I'm smiling?"[12]

On January 9, 2014, after the emails were disclosed, the governor announced that he had fired Kelly, calling her action "stupid" and "deceitful" and claiming her actions had caused him to mislead the public.[13] That day, Kelly was named as a defendant in a federal class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey that cited a civil conspiracy and "willful, wanton, arbitrary, and egregious official misconduct".[14][15] In the wake of her firing, police established no parking zones outside of Kelly's home in Ramsey to keep press and gawkers away, while "no trespassing" signs were placed on the lawn of the home.[16]

When she received subpoenas for documents from the New Jersey legislative committee, Kelly's attorneys indicated she would not comply with the subpoenas, citing their clients' Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure[17][18] The committee voted to compel Kelly to produce the previously requested documents, instructing special counsel Reid Schar to "take all necessary steps" to enforce them.[19] But Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson found no basis to force Kelly and Bill Stepien, the governor's two-time campaign manager, to comply with the subpoenas. The pair had objected to the requests, issued in January, asserting that being forced to identify and turn over records would violate their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. They called the committee's requests a fishing expedition. The Court agreed.[20]

On May 1, 2015, Kelly was indicted on nine charges in connection with her involvement in the scandal.[21] She pleaded not guilty. Courts have ruled that evidence provided in discovery by the US Attorney cannot be made public. Courts also ruled that all materials used to prepare the so-called Mastro Report which exonerated the Christie administration must be turned over to the defense.[22] The state has denied Kelly's request for reimbursement of legal fees.[23]


On November 4, 2016, the jury in the "Bridgegate" trial returned guilty verdicts on all counts against Bridget Kelly and co-defendant Bill Baroni.[24][25] On March 29, 2017, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced to Kelly 18 months in prison and 500 hours of community service.[26][27][28]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2014, Kelly was unemployed, and a single mother with four children.[29][30]


  1. ^ Kelly, Mike. "Mike Kelly: Image of former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly doesn't fit résumé" Archived January 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., The Record (Bergen County), January 9, 2014. Accessed January 17, 2014. "Kelly grew up in Ramsey, the daughter of Richard Daul, now the director of veterans services in the Bergen County government. In 1990, she graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school in Washington Township."
  2. ^ a b Calabrese, Erin (2013-12-31). "Meet fired Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly | New York Post". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  3. ^ Angela Delli Santi (2013-09-12). "Bridget Anne Kelly, fired Christie aide, was on team from the start". Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  4. ^ "Who Is Bridget Anne Kelly? Chris Christie Aide Who Revealed His Hand In George Washington Bridge Traffic Meltdown". 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  5. ^ Joseph Ax (4 November 2016), Former Christie allies convicted in N.J. 'Bridgegate' trial, Reuters, retrieved 4 November 2016
  6. ^ Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley and Tom Kludt (4 November 2016), Bridgegate case verdict: Former officials guilty on all counts, CNN, retrieved 4 November 2016
  7. ^ GWB Scandal Sentencings Delayed Due To Snowstorm, Law360, March 13, 2017, retrieved March 24, 2017.
  8. ^ Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts,, November 4, 2017, retrieved March 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Nick Corasaniti (March 29, 2017). "2 Christie Allies Are Sentenced in George Washington Bridge Scandal". New York Times.
  10. ^ Zernike, Kate (January 8, 2014). "Christie Faces Scandal on Traffic Jam Aides Ordered". The New York Times. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 'Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,' Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie, e-mailed David Wildstein, ... who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the bridge.
  11. ^ Lach, Eric (January 8, 2014). "Meet the Christie Aide Behind the Instantly Infamous 'Traffic Problems' Email". Talking Point Memo. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Santora, Marc; Rashbaum, William (January 9, 2014). "Christie Fires Aide in Bridge Scandal as U.S. Opens Inquiry". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Markos, Kibret (January 9, 2014). "Six Bergen County residents file class-action lawsuits over GWB scandal". The Record. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  15. ^ Complaint, docket entry 1, Jan. 9, 2014, Zachary Galicki, et al. v. State of New Jersey, Christopher James Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Bill Baroni, David Wildstein, et al., case no. 2:14-cv-00169-KM-MCA, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark Div.)
  16. ^ Diduch, Mary. "Signs shoo media from Ramsey homes of ex-Christie aide, kin", The Record, January 16, 2014. Accessed January 17, 2014. "Across the borough at Kelly's light brown house, which also now has two "No trespassing" signs on the lawn, vehicles cannot park along Wyckoff Avenue, a main road where parking has always been banned."
  17. ^ Grant, Jason (January 31, 2014). "Bill Stepien's lawyer objects to legislative subpoena in bridge scandal, requests its withdrawal". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Attorney says longtime Christie adviser Bill Stepien will invoke Fifth Amendment". The Washington Post. January 31, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  19. ^ Baxter, Christopher (February 10, 2014). "Panel investigating Chris Christie bridge scandal votes to compel insiders to produce records". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  20. ^ Christopher Baxter, "NJ judge rules against bridge scandal panel in subpoena fight," April 9, 2014, Star-Ledger, reproduced by, accessed August 27, 2014, at [1]
  21. ^ "Indicted in GWB case, Bridget Anne Kelly proclaims innocence at news conference". North Jersey. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Judge orders law firm to turn over Bridgegate probe notes".
  23. ^ MELISSA HAYES. "Ex-Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly rebuffed in bid to recoup legal bills".
  24. ^ Joseph Ax (4 November 2016), "Former Christie allies convicted in N.J. 'Bridgegate' trial", Reuters, retrieved 4 November 2016
  25. ^ Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley and Tom Kludt (4 November 2016), "Bridgegate case verdict: Former officials guilty on all counts", CNN, retrieved 4 November 2016
  26. ^ Corasaniti, Nick (2017-03-29). "2 Christie Allies Are Sentenced in George Washington Bridge Scandal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  27. ^ "Ex-Christie associates get up to two years in prison in 'Bridgegate' scandal". Reuters. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  28. ^
  29. ^ Zernike, Kate (2014-03-11). "Judge Hears Arguments on Subpoenas to Christie Associates". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  30. ^ Bernstein, Andrea; Katz, Matt (2014-09-09). "The Bridgegate 5: Where Are They Now". WNYC. Retrieved 2017-03-30.