Leaked emails from Chris Christie staffer Bridget Anne Kelly reveal that the New Jersey governor's office had a hand in shutting down traffic on the George Washington Bridge. Kelly’s emails, obtained by were the source of the leak, but how much do we know about the woman who inadvertently revealed the scandal?
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly wrote to Port Authority official David Wildstein on Aug. 13, 2013, The Record reports. About three weeks later, for four days, two of the lanes on the George Washington Bridge leading from Fort Lee into New York City were closed, causing huge traffic backups for the next week. At the time, it was rumored that Christie's administration sabotaged the bridge’s traffic flow after Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich refused to support Christie’s re-election. Kelly’s email all but confirms the rumors.
Christie said Wednesday afternoon he is "outraged" by the documents.
"What I've seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge," read a statement from the governor. "One thing is clear: This type of behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it because the people of New Jersey deserve better. This behavior is not representative of me or my administration in any way, and people will be held responsible for their actions."
Kelly, the staff member in question, has maintained a rather low profile in social media, and she deleted her Twitter account immediately after the scandal broke.
According to the Star-Ledger, Kelly joined Christie’s staff in 2010 as director of legislative relations, managing the Christie administration’s relationship with the New Jersey legislature. Since then, she was promoted to Christie’s deputy chief of staff for legislative and intergovernmental affairs, for which she is paid $114,000 annually.
The Star-Ledger also reported that Kelly received a political science degree from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Kelly reportedly began her career in government working as a legislative aide for Assemblyman David C. Russo. In 2002, she was promoted to Russo’s chief of staff. In the past, Kelly has served on several municipal government boards and on the parent faculty board at her children’s school.
A Google cache of Kelly’s now-deleted Twitter account reveals few personal details about the Christie staffer, except that she routinely interacted with officemates and friends, and enjoyed posting photos of her children on Twitter. No results for Kelly turned up on Facebook or LinkedIn, indicating that Kelly either never maintained profiles there or that she deleted them around the same time she deleted her Twitter account.