Bridget Kelly speaks out after "Bridgegate" sentencing: Former Gov. Chris Christie is "lying"

Bridget Kelly: Chris Christie is "lying"

Bridget Kelly, a one-time aide to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, says the governor has made her out to be "a scapegoat" for her role in the 2013 "Bridgegate" scandal. 

Kelly was sentenced to 13 months in prison Wednesday for what prosecutors characterized as a politically-motivated plot to create traffic jams over the George Washington Bridge.

Now, Kelly is firing back at Christie, saying she was humiliated and wants Christie held accountable.

"I would like Gov. Christie to acknowledge … that he's – by doing what he has done, which is not telling the truth, has destroyed my life," Kelly told Kristine Johnson of New York station WCBS.

"The truth will be heard. And for the former governor, that truth will be unescapable," Kelly said at a press conference after her sentencing.

Kelly's reduced sentence, down from 18 months, comes after a federal appeals court tossed out two of the nine charges against her and another Christie aide last fall. Kelly insists Christie must have known about the scandal – a claim he's repeatedly denied.

"I knew nothing about it. I didn't plan it. I didn't authorize it. I didn't approve it," Christie said in February 2014. He also released a statement to CBS News Wednesday, saying: "As I have said before, I had no knowledge of this scheme prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them. No credible evidence was ever presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary is simply untrue."

For nearly a week in September 2013, thousands of commuters suffered hours of delays on the George Washington Bridge after the Port Authority closed two critical lanes. Even paramedics couldn't get through.

Kelly said she believed the closures were part of a traffic study. But prosecutors said the motive was political revenge, punishing the nearby city of Fort Lee, New Jersey, after its mayor refused to support Christie's re-election bid. An email from Kelly to a Port Authority executive less than a month before the lane closures, she wrote: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

"Chris Christie was, and likely still is, a micromanager. There wasn't much in that office that he didn't know about," Kelly said.

"He was very involved in the day-to-day activities," Johnson said.

"Beyond involved," Kelly said.

Christie fired Kelly on January 9, 2014, calling her actions "stupid" and "deceitful." "I've terminated her employment because she lied to me," Christie said in January 2014.

"He's lying," Kelly said Wednesday, adding, "I was the lowest-hanging fruit and the easiest to dispose of. … I accept responsibility for my poor choice of words … but it doesn't feel good to be going to jail for something I didn't do at all."

"You can still look yourself in the mirror though?" Johnson said.

"Because I've told the truth the entire time, yes," Kelly said, choking up with emotion.

As part of her new sentence, Kelly is ordered to pay the state of New Jersey more than $14,000 to make up for lost bridge tolls. She plans to appeal her conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.