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N.J. Gov. Chris Christie faces criminal summons over 'Bridgegate' scandal

By Andrew V. Pestano
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie faces criminal summons over 'Bridgegate' scandal
A judge has ruled that there is cause to move forward with a criminal complaint against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen here speaking at the Republican National Convention in July, over the "Bridgegate" scandal. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A New Jersey judge signed a criminal summons on Thursday allowing an official misconduct complaint against N.J. Gov. Chris Christie to proceed over the "Bridgegate" scandal.

Bergen County Judge Roy F. McGeady ordered Christie to appear in court on Oct. 24 to answer questions related to his knowledge of his close associates' plot to close traffic lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge to punish Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich for not supporting him in the 2013 gubernatorial election.

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The case against Christie will move to the Bergen County prosecutor's office, which will decide whether the case will be presented to a grand jury.

Brian Murray, a spokesman for Christie, told NBC News that McGeady's ruling would be appealed.

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"This is a dishonorable complaint filed by a known serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system," Murray said in a statement. "The simple fact is the governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening. This matter has already been thoroughly investigated by three separate independent investigations."

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Two former Christie administration officials have been charged with closing the lanes and then covering it up. U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna in September said that the officials discussed the traffic tie-up at a 9/11 ceremony that Christie attended.

Christie's associates are accused of using Port Authority resources to close two of three local access lanes to the world's busiest bridge and of agreeing not to warn top officials in Fort Lee or at the Port Authority.

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"For four straight days Fort Lee woke up to traffic gridlock, and for four straight days, Mayor Sokolich was treated with radio silence," Khanna previously said.

Allen Cone contributed to this report.

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