Bridgegate is the most obvious Christie political scandal but the first, and possibly most heinous based on what we are allowed to know so far about this administration, took root in Hunterdon County in early 2010.
$1.5 million monetarily but, as noted in a statement from Bennett Barlyn, that is only a small part of the damage inflicted on New Jerseyans and our system of justice:
In sharp contrast to Christie’s political operatives at the center of the “Bridgegate” trial, Barlyn, along with the prosecutors and detectives who secured the indictment in Hunterdon, were apolitical career law enforcement personnel with unblemished and long records of public service. They did not serve a “constituency of one,” but instead acted on behalf of all New Jersey citizens in accordance with their oaths to do justice.
The settlement in Barlyn’s lawsuit, Barlyn v. Dow, forbids the disclosure of confidential information acquired in the case. “In this sense, the conclusion of the civil case represents a private vindication, but it is not a public accounting,” said Barlyn, adding that he will scrupulously honor those terms.
Nonetheless, the case raises serious questions about the lack of independence of New Jersey’s highest law enforcement agency and other officials. “Numerous good faith efforts by me and others directly familiar with the events in Hunterdon to elicit the interest of the New Jersey Legislature and other authorities regarding the 2010 takeover of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office went unheeded to the detriment of public accountability and transparency,” Barlyn said.