Taxpayer legal tab in Bridgegate scandal exceeds $15M

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The cost to New Jersey taxpayers of former Republican Gov. Chris Christie's legal response to the George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal in 2013 has climbed to over $15 million, and the tab is expected to climb further as appeals play out.

The new total reflects additional billing by data forensics firm Stroz Friedberg. Records reviewed by The Associated Press show its charges have topped $4 million, including $700,000 last year and $60,000 this year.

Two former Christie aides were convicted in 2016 of fraud and other charges for causing traffic jams on the bridge between New Jersey and New York City to punish a mayor who wouldn't endorse the Republican governor for re-election. They are appealing.

The attorney general's office says Stroz Friedberg is continuing to maintain data in the cases.

Two other law firms also submitted bills.