Christie moved to make an adviser a judge, but she says no

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As his time in office winds down, Gov. Christie last month sought to nominate to a judgeship a longtime ally who had moved with him from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to his gubernatorial administration.


But Michele Brown said Wednesday that she wasn’t leaving her current job.

“I am honored by the interest of the Governor’s Office in considering me for the bench,” Brown, the president and CEO of the Choose New Jersey economic-development agency, said in a statement. “However, I have decided I would rather continue with the great work we undertake at Choose New Jersey to bring jobs and economic development to our state.”


Christie’s intent to nominate Brown was first reported Wednesday morning by the website Observer. The governor had submitted a notice of intent to the Senate on April 24 but had not formally nominated Brown.

A spokesman for Christie declined to comment Wednesday, citing “longstanding protocol of not discussing notices of intent and formal nominations.”

Since 2015, Brown has led Choose New Jersey, which was launched after Christie took office in 2010. The group, which describes its mission as encouraging economic growth in New Jersey, helped bankroll Christie’s trade missions to Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom ahead of his 2016 presidential campaign.





Before Choose New Jersey, Brown was picked by Christie in 2012 to lead the state Economic Development Authority, in which she oversaw a surge in tax breaks to businesses after lawmakers overhauled the state’s economic incentives program.

Brown worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Christie, who led the office from 2002 to 2008.

She resigned from the office after Christie acknowledged during his first gubernatorial campaign, in August 2009, that he had failed to disclose a $46,000 loan he and his wife had provided to Brown.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Brown likely would have faced questions from the committee about the loan, “but more important, what she does, and what Choose New Jersey does, in terms of what have they actually accomplished, if anything.”

But “they all should have known that,” Weinberg said. “None of that would have been a secret or a surprise to the governor or Michele Brown.” She called it “strange that the governor [intended] to nominate someone who doesn’t want the position.”






















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1 Philadelphia

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