NEWARK, N.J. (WTXF/AP) - One of the defendants in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing trial is back on the stand, testifying for a third day.
The former deputy chief of staff to Republican Gov. Chris Christie, Bridget Kelly, said an email she sent saying "time for some traffic problems" near the George Washington Bridge referred to a traffic study, not a political retaliation plot.
Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive Bill Baroni are charged with closing bridge access lanes and causing gridlock to punish Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich who didn't endorse Christie's 2013 re-election.
Facing cross-examination, Kelly repeated her testimony from Friday that she used a poor choice of words when she emailed former bridge authority official David Wildstein.
Wildstein pleaded guilty and testified against Kelly and Baroni.
Kelly testified Tuesday the email referred to the traffic that would ensue once the lanes were closed. She said she believed it was a legitimate traffic study.
Also, federal prosecutors are trying to show that months earlier, Kelly in Christie’s office deliberately ignored, or "froze out," Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop after it became evident Fulop wouldn't endorse Christie.
They say Fort Lee’s mayor Sokolich got similar treatment later during the lane closures.
Kelly claimed Tuesday the situations involving two mayors were different and there was no reason to retaliate against Sokolich.
Earlier in the day, she testified she felt uncomfortable when she was told by superiors to cancel meetings with Jersey City’s mayor Fulop who was unlikely to endorse Christie's re-election.
Monday, Kelly testified she told Christie a Democratic mayor had expressed concern the traffic jams were political retribution. She said Christie lied three months later when he said at a news conference no one on his senior staff knew of the plot.
Christie has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.
This is the sixth week of testimony in the trial.