A Former Chris Christie aide charged with conspiracy in the Bridgegate scandal trashed a prominent New Jersey Chabad rabbi in federal court.
Bridget Anne Kelly characterized Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, who leads the Chabad House at Rutgers University and PA police chaplain, as something of a pest.
“He would show up at events he wasn’t invited to,” Kelly told the court on Monday. “He would want face time with the governor… Rabbi Carlebach was a very nice man.
It just — it got to a point where your superiors mention to you repeatedly: Why is Rabbi Carlebach here? You start to you question it yourself.”
Rabbi Mendy Carlebac said that he wasn’t aware of the testimony, which took place on the last day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, when observant Jews don’t use electricity.
“I only go to places where I’m invited,” Carlebach said, after hearing selections of Kelly’s statements. “I’m the administrator of the largest Chabad House in the country.
I’ve got a lot on my plate. I’m not looking where to go to spend my day.”
Kelly, who was a deputy chief of staff in Christie’s office, is charged along with Bill Baroni, a former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, with nine counts of conspiracy and fraud in connection with the 2013 closing of access lanes on the George Washington Bridge. Their trial has been ongoing since mid-September.
In court on October 24, Kelly testified that Carlebach “showed up” at stops on a 2012 visit Christie made to Israel, after Carlebach had been told that only his father, and not he, was invited to attend.
“When the Governor got home from Israel, I had gotten an earful about the fact that, you know, I said, ‘Mendy wasn’t suppose to be there.’” Kelly said.
In court, Kelly’s attorney asked about a string of texts about Carlebach between Kelly and David Wildstein, the former senior Port Authority official who has pled guilty to conspiracy charges in the Bridgegate scandal and is cooperating with prosecutors.
Those texts included one exchange about the 2013 Broadway musical “Soul Doctor,” about Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, a distant cousin of Mendy Carlebach’s.
In an August 2013 text, Wildstein asked Kelly if she wanted tickets to the show. Kelly responded, “You are ridiculous.”
Kelly testified that she thought that Wildstein was “being funny.”