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Poll: Bridgegate Verdicts — Did Baroni and Kelly Get What They Deserved?

Too soft? Too tough? Just right? Was justice served?

Another chapter in the infamous 2013 Bridgegate saga closed Wednesday as Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly were sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the fraud and conspiracy.

Baroni, the former deputy executive director at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was sentenced to 24 months. Kelly a onetime top aide to Christie, received 18 months. Both were also tasked with 500 hours of community service and allowed to remain free on bail while they appeal the convictions.

Meanwhile, former Port Authority Chairman David Samson, who was found guilty of shaking down United Airlines for a more direct flight to his South Carolina vacation home, was sentenced to a year of home confinement in his Southern getaway, four years probation, 3,600 hours of community service, and a $100,000 fine.

Did Baroni and Kelly get a fair deal?

  • Hardly. Aren't these sentences a bit harsh given that Samson got off with probation? It seems that if you are a senior player, a member of the great and good, you are above real punishment. Meanwhile, Baroni and Kelly go to jail (which for her means a separation from her young children).

  • Definitely. The sentences seem appropriate given that these two weren’t in charge. It’s not like they killed someone; let’s keep it all in perspective.

  • They got lucky. The judge should have gone with the sentencing guidelines, which called for between 37 and 46 months for these offenses. Or, at least, accepted the prosecutor’s recommendation for 24 to 30 months, in Baroni’s case.

  • Forget the guidelines. These are public servants who saw themselves as above the law. The judge should have used them to set an example, so that others in government know we take these offenses seriously.

  • This is a travesty. You can lock them up and throw away the key, but even if prosecutors couldn’t prove it, we all know Christie was behind the Bridgegate scandal. Yet he and his closest buddies walk free and the little people get jail time.

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