(Reuters) - A former ally of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to plead guilty on Thursday to criminal charges related to the George Washington Bridge closure scandal, Bloomberg said on Wednesday.
David Wildstein, who was an executive with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and another Christie aide ordered bridge lanes closed over four days in September 2013, snarling traffic on the crossing to New York City, a legislative panel said in December. [ID:nL1N0TS1MW]
Christie has denied knowing about the incident, and the joint panel of Democrats and Republicans in December found no evidence he was involved. The political fallout has hurt his brand as he considers a run for the Republican presidential nomination.
Wildstein's attorney, Alan Zegas, was not immediately available for comment on the Bloomberg report, which cited a person with knowledge of the matter.
In emails that surfaced after the shutdown, Wildstein and Bridget Anne Kelly, then Christie's deputy chief of staff, discussed causing "traffic problems" for a local mayor who had not supported the governor's re-election bid in 2013.
The scandal led to the resignation of Wildstein and the departures of other officials, and prompted inquiries into whether the governor himself was involved.
Christie's office did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
Bloomberg said Wildstein would appear in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, and it was unclear what charges he would face.
There are additional probes being conducted into the scandal.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson in Washington and Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)