Prosecutors were set to release Friday a list of people suspected but not charged in 2013's Bridgegate conspiracy until a federal judge granted a temporary reprieve after a lawyer for one of those included on the list argued that her client would be permanently branded with a “badge of infamy.”
On Wednesday, Justice Susan Wigenton of the United States District Court in Newark granted a motion, filed by a group of media organizations, seeking the release of the list, ruling that “there is very little that is private about the lane closures or the lives of the people allegedly connected to them.”
Federal prosecutors were ordered to release the list by noon Friday. However, late on Thursday, Jenny R. Kramer of Chadbourne & Parke in Manhattan filed a motion arguing that the release of her anonymous client’s name would result in him being “publicly branded a felon without due process of law, causing him immediate and irreparable reputational harm.”
@mattkatz00 John Doe's attorney was hired to work in the US Attorney's office in 2005, under Chris Christie. She left in 2015. Interesting.— Steve Kastenbaum (@SKastenbaum) May 13, 2016
According to the judge, everyone on the list is either a public employee or elected official. Prosecutors have previously indicated that the evidence against the people named on the list meets the probable cause standard but does not constitute guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The deadline for the list’s release has been pushed back to Tuesday. In their counter-motion, the media organizations lobbying for the list’s release wrote that the John Doe “can only delay the inevitable.”