Christie wanted to make an adviser as a judge; she wants to keep her current job

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In his last year in office, Gov. Christie sought to nominate a longtime ally to a judgeship, after she had moved with him from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to his gubernatorial administration.


But Michele Brown said Wednesday that she isn’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 Observer. The governor had submitted a notice of intent to the Senate on April 24 but had not yet formally nominated Brown.

A spokesman for Christie declined to comment Wednesday on the governor’s plans to nominate Brown, citing “longstanding protocol of not discussing notices of intent and formal nominations.”

Brown, who worked for Christie while the governor was U.S. attorney for New Jersey, has served since 2015 as president and CEO of Choose New Jersey, an economic development agency that 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, a post in which she oversaw a surge in tax breaks to businesses after lawmakers overhauled the state’s economic incentives program.

Brown had 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 Senate 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 before he nominated her,” 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 intends to nominate someone who doesn’t want the position.”






















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