Christie Staffs Up With Ex-Prosecutors; Marra Not Among Them
By Stephanie Woodrow | December 15, 2021 12:41 pm
The former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey is under fire as he runs for governor.

Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R)

If New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R) in fact had been considering appointing his controversial ally from the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, Ralph Marra, to be state attorney general, as previous reports indicated, he’s decided against it.

Christie will name Essex County, N.J., prosecutor Paula Dow (D) to the post today, The Associated Press reports. The New Jersey attorney general is an appointed position, not elected, but requires confirmation by the state Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

Ralph Marra (Getty Images)

Ralph Marra (Getty Images)

Marra recently returned to his First Assistant U.S. Attorney position after serving as acting U.S. Attorney, a post he assumed in December when Christie resigned to run for governor. Yesterday, Obama administration appointee Paul Fishman was sworn in as the state’s new U.S. Attorney.

During the campaign, Marra’s office was criticized by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign for foot-dragging on Freedom of Information Act requests about Christie’s tenure. In addition, the Justice Department launched an ethics probe of Marra for remarks he made at a news conference about a major public corruption sweep Chrthat Democrats said were intended to boost Christie politically.

Paula Dow (gov)

Paula Dow (gov)

Dow previously worked with Christie in the U.S. Attorney’s office, serving as counsel to the U.S. Attorney and working in the special prosecutions division and the criminal division. She was in the office from 1994 to 2003. Before joining the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office, Dow worked in the Southern District of New York’s office from 1987 to 1994 and for Exxon for seven years.

Christie has already tapped two of his former subordinates from the U.S. Attorney’s office for his administration - Jeffrey S. Chiesa, who will be Christie’s chief counsel, and Kevin M. O’Dowd, who will be deputy chief counsel.

PolitickerNJ reports the former New Jersey U.S. Attorney will also appoint three other prosecutors to top posts. They are:

- Phillip Kwon, a deputy chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as first assistant attorney general

- Marc Ferzan, a deputy chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s office, as executive assistant attorney general

- Carolyn Murray, first assistant prosecutor in Essex County, N.J., as counsel to the attorney general.

UPDATE:  Christie during a noontime press conference made the nominations official, The Star-Ledger of New Jersey reports. In addition, the newspaper reports that Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Guadagno will also serve as secretary of state in the Christie administration. The lieutenant governor, which is a new position in New Jersey, may serve in duel roles in the administration except for attorney general. Guadagno was the deputy chief of the corruption unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office from 1990 to 1998.


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