She did not do it intentionally, but she knows that the traffic scandal which erupted in New Jersey politics is something that she carries around like a bad tattoo.
Former aide to Republican ex–Gov. Chris Christie is now talking a lot about the scandal as she seeks a bold political revival.
One year after was convicted for conspiring at the George Washington Bridge to cause gridlock to punish a mayor who didn't support her boss, Kelly is now running for the Bergen County Clerk office.
She'd be a remarkable turnaround after a long and difficult journey that saw her become a relative anonymous government functionary , to a criminal defendant and national joker.
Kelly was first known to Bergen County residents as part of a small number of Republican political operatives. They had worked to block the George Washington Bridge access lanes in order to create four days worth of traffic jams in Fort Lee suburb.
Buses carrying schoolchildren were trapped by the backups, which also blocked ambulances. This angered commuters who tried to cross the bridge into Manhattan. According to the cover story, the lane closures were part a traffic study. But the true purpose, documents and testimony later revealed, was to get revenge against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, for refusing to endorse Christie for reelection.
Kelly sent an email saying, "Time to fix Fort Lee's traffic problems," which was a clear indication of Kelly's guilt when the email became public.
Kelly's campaign for county clerk -- an official who handles the important but mundane transactions of everyday life, such as liens, mortgages and passports, photo cards to veterans, naturalization records, could be a test for the old saying that bad publicity is not possible.