Cross-examination of David Wildstein, the prosecution’s star witness in the Bridgegate trial, continued yesterday, with the defense focusing on whether Governor Chris Christie’s office used the Port Authority as a “goody bag” in which to dip for favors to prominent New Jersey Democrats.
Michael Baldassare, who represents Bill Baroni, one of the two defendants in Bridgegate, asked about a grant for the Urban League of Hudson County; Wildstein testified that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop urged the governor to approve the grant as a way to get Sen. Sandy Cunningham to not run for mayor. At the time, Fulop was still a councilman preparing to run for mayor. Fulop told reporters yesterday he had no conversations with anyone about an Urban League grant.
Another prominent politician mentioned was Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. According to testimony, he allegedly wanted a grant for the county to be expedited. No evidence was presented to support the testimony.
Baldassare attacked Wildstein’s credibility with regard to the 2013 remembrance ceremony for 9/11; previously Wildstein had testified that he and Baroni told the governor about the lane closures at that ceremony. Baldassare will continue cross-examination on Friday after which Michael Critchley, the attorney for the second defendant Bridget Anne Kelly, will take over.
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