- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - One former political ally of Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Friday and two others were charged in an indictment related to causing a traffic jam near the George Washington Bridge for political retribution.

Here’s a look at where the case stands.

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THE PLEA

David Wildstein, who went to high school with Christie and later became a top official in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to two criminal counts. He admitted that he helped plot lane closures in Fort Lee on an approach to the world’s busiest bridge as political payback against that community’s Democratic mayor for failing to support Christie’s re-election campaign.

The lane closures caused four massive morning traffic jams in September 2013.

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THE CHARGES

Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, and his former top appointee at the Port Authority, Bill Baroni, were each charged with seven criminal counts including wire fraud and civil rights depravation.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says Wildstein, Kelly and Baroni used public resources for political purposes.

Kelly said she was innocent. Baroni’s lawyer said Baroni was innocent. Both asserted that Wildstein was lying.

Kelly and Baroni are due in court Monday for arraignments.

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CHRISTIE’S ROLE

Christie, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination next year, was not implicated in the indictment.

Christie says the indictment supports his position from the beginning that he had nothing to do with the lane closures or cover-up. “The moment I first learned of this unacceptable behavior I took action, firing staff believed to be accountable, calling for an outside investigation and agreeing to fully cooperate with all appropriate investigations, which I have done,” he said in a statement.

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WHAT CASE IS CLOSED

Lawyers for another former Christie aide disclosed a letter they received Friday from the U.S. Attorney’s office stating that it has closed the investigation into whether state officials threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy aid from Hoboken. City officials said they were told aid would depend partly on whether the mayor supported a private real estate development deal.

The developer was represented by the law firm of David Samson, who was also the chairman of the Port Authority and a Christie confidante.

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WHAT CASE APPEARS NOT TO BE CLOSED

Investigators have sought documents regarding other issues involving Samson. Some of the questions have been about a twice-weekly direct United Airlines flight from Newark to Columbia, South Carolina, that began after Samson became chairman and was canceled days after he resigned last year. Samson had a second home about 50 miles from the Columbia airport.

A spokeswoman for Samson would not say whether he had received any communications from authorities saying that an investigation of him had been closed.

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REFORMS COMING?

The Democratic New Jersey state lawmakers who have been investigating the case on their own say the indictments demonstrate a need for reforms to ensure that this sort of thing can’t happen again at the bistate agency.

Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo both vetoed legislation to overhaul the agency, saying they wanted to implement another set of changes instead.

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