NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The police chief of the New Jersey town at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal is describing the gridlock that engulfed it three years ago.
Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul testified Tuesday at the federal trial of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie. They are charged with reducing access to the bridge in September 2013 to punish the town's Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie. Christie wasn't charged.
Bendul described heavy traffic near the bridge and testified that an official from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told him to "have the mayor call Baroni."
Baroni is a former Port Authority executive. Kelly is Christie's former deputy chief of staff.
Both claim their actions weren't criminal and the alleged scheme was orchestrated by another former Port Authority official, David Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty.
During opening statements on Monday, defense lawyers portrayed Wildstein as a political opportunist and bully who was Christie's eyes and ears at the agency, where Baroni was deputy executive director.
Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich could also testify Tuesday.