For 16 months, eight words defined her: “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
She had not spoken publicly since Governor Christie fired her when he learned of that email. She said nothing when a report commissioned by his office described her as emotional and overwhelmed. And she stayed quiet as the investigations into the George Washington Bridge scandal grew.
On Friday, now indicted by a federal grand jury, Bridget Anne Kelly spoke: “Let me make something very clear. I am not guilty of these charges.”
Confident and defiant, Kelly challenged the way she was portrayed in a report compiled by a team of lawyers from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, whom Christie hired to investigate his office after firing Kelly.
“I am not stupid. I am not weepy, insecure, unqualified or overwhelmed,” Kelly said. “I believe I was, and still am, a very qualified, hardworking woman who took pride each and every day in being a loyal public employee.”
Kelly, 42, of Ramsey, stood on a purple Fisher-Price stepstool in hot pink pumps as she addressed reporters in her attorney Michael Critchley’s Livingston office.
Her goal in the six-minute speech was to reject the public image borne out of the bridge scandal and let prosecutors, potential jurors and anyone else know she has more to say.
“For over a year I have remained quiet while many of the people whom I believed in, trusted and respected have attempted to publicly discredit and even humiliate me,” said Kelly. “I am here today to say that I will no longer allow the lies that have been said about me or my role in the George Washington Bridge issue go unchallenged.”
Kelly was charged Friday with nine criminal counts related to the bridge scandal, including conspiracy.
SOURCE: DUSTIN RACIOPPI AND MELISSA HAYES