Gov's former AG on her way to becoming Burlco judge

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Paula Dow and Gov. Christie

Despite a few questions about her involvement in a wrongful termination whistleblower suit, Gov. Christie's former attorney general, Paula Dow, cruised through a confirmation hearing this morning before the Senate judiciary committee.

The full Senate is expected to confirm Christie's appointment to Burlington County Superior Court later today.

Today, I wrote about a lawsuit against Dow filed by Bennett Barlyn, a former high-ranking county prosecutor in Hunterdon County: 

According to Barlyn's lawsuit, filed this year in Superior Court, Dow in 2010 dismissed a 43-count grand jury indictment against former Hunterdon Sheriff Deborah Trout and two underlings. The three, all Republicans, were charged with official misconduct and the manufacture of false law-enforcement ID cards. Dow is a Democrat who was named to the post by Christie.

One of those cards went to Robert Hariri, who donated thousands of dollars to Christie's gubernatorial campaign and served on his transition team.

In his suit, Barlyn seeks to prove political connections by producing copies of e-mails between Trout and Christie's 2009 running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, in which Guadagno thanks Trout for help with the Christie campaign....

Barlyn alleges that Dow dismissed the indictment to "protect a significant contributor to the governor's campaign." In addition, Barlyn alleges, one of Trout's undersheriffs publicly said Christie would "have this whole thing thrown out."

When Barlyn complained about the case's being dropped, according to the suit, he was suspended and then fired by a deputy of Dow's who at the time was the acting county prosecutor.

Dow was asked a couple of questions about the matter at a hearing today. "With respect to the allegations I deny them and believe they will not be substantiated," Dow said. 

She was also asked about her residency. Dow had been appointed to the Essex County post, but a political food fight delayed her hearing. She has since moved to Willingboro, Burlington County, she said.

Dow was approved 10-0, with one abstention, by the panel.

Reached earlier today, Barlyn said: "The fight will continue in the courtroom. The evidence will be presented in another forum where this matter will be explored in great detail, as opposed to the Senate hearing."

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