David Wildstein, a former New York-New Jersey Port Authority official and ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, is expected to plead guilty today to the first charges stemming from the 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal, the New York Times reports. Wildstein, a high school classmate of Christie who ordered the closing of several access lanes to the bridge in September 2013, was likely to plead guilty to charges not specified by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman before a court appearance. Fishman was expected to announce other indictments in the case.
The lane closings gridlocked the town of Fort Lee, N.J., over four days, stranding emergency vehicles, commuters and school buses. Wildstein told several people in the Christie administration that he had discussed the lane closings with the governor as they were happening, an assertion the governor denies. Wildstein resigned from the Port Authority in December 2013, as details began to cast doubt on the Christie administration's assertions that the lane closings were part of a traffic study. The scandal blew open a month later, after the leaking of an email Wildstein received from a deputy chief of staff to Christie calling for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”