The police chief of the town at the center of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal tells a jury a bridge authority official told him to contact one of the two people charged with orchestrating gridlock near the bridge for political revenge.
Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul recounted meeting Robert Durando, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official in charge of the bridge, in a municipal lot on the morning of Sept. 9, 2013, as traffic engulfed the town.
Bendul said when he upbraided Durando about the new traffic pattern that reduced three access lanes between Fort Lee and the bridge to one, Durando told him, "Have the mayor call Baroni."
That's a reference to Bill Baroni, the former Port Authority deputy executive director on trial on charges he closed lanes to punish Democratic Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Republican Gov. Chris Christie's re-election.