Bridgegate judge denies bid to move trial out of New Jersey

by Tim Darragh  |  published on February 6, 2016

The federal judge presiding over the George Washington bridge scandal case ruled Friday that the trial will stay in New Jersey.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton Friday denied a defense request to move the trial outside the state, saying defense lawyer Michael Baldassare’s arguments didn’t convince her that his client, Bill Baroni, couldn’t find 12 impartial jurors from the region.

In a letter filed in federal court hours after a hearing on pre-trial motions in the case, Wigenton said that out of a court region covering 1,700 square miles with millions of residents, “this court is not convinced that twelve impartial individuals cannot be found from such a sizable pool of potential jurors.”

Baldassare, who is representing former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni in the case, declined to comment.

In his motion to move the trial out of New Jersey, Baldassare said Baroni could not get a fair trial because of extensive publicity.

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