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Nearly four months after a former aide testified that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about a looming traffic nightmare that sparked a political scandal, a municipal judge says a criminal complaint against Christie can move forward.
In finding there is probable cause for a complaint of official misconduct to proceed against Christie, Bergen County Municipal Court Judge Roy McGeady is extending a probe into the governor's involvement in a case that has generated federal charges against several former aides to Christie.
Christie is scheduled to appear in court over the case on March 10.
The case stems from lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that were made in September of 2013 — closures that were seen as targeting the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not supporting Christie's re-election campaign.
"The criminal complaint was brought against Christie by William Brennan, a Bergen County activist who is now running for governor," WNYC reports. The member station adds, "The complaint accuses the governor of failing to stop subordinates from purposely creating traffic jams to punish a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse him."
In November, Christie's deputy chief of staff and the former Port Authority deputy executive director became the latest former Christie allies to either plead guilty or be found guilty of federal charges that include conspiracy and fraud.
Responding to today's ruling, Christie's press secretary, Brian Murray, said McGready "is violating the law, pure and simple" in furthering a "concocted" claim.
Here's the full statement from the governor's office:
"This judge has once again violated the Governor's constitutional rights and intentionally ignored the earlier ruling by Assignment Judge Mizdol. The judge is violating the law, pure and simple. This concocted claim was investigated for three months by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, which summarily dismissed it, after concluding that the very same evidence relied upon again by this judge was utter nonsense."
That statement was passed along by WNYC reporter Andrea Bernstein, who has been following the case.
Back in October, Bernstein relayed details from the courtroom as Bridget Kelly, who was Christie's deputy chief of staff, testified under questioning by her defense attorney.
Here's a summary of what Kelly said:
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