Christie to nominate acting A.G. as judge

JJUDGE20
Robert T. Lougy has been acting attorney general since late February.

TRENTON - Gov. Christie intends to nominate his acting attorney general for a judgeship, less than three months after naming Robert T. Lougy the state's top law enforcement official.

Christie on Wednesday notified the Democratic-controlled Legislature of his intent to nominate 18 people to Superior Court. The governor said he would also nominate, in addition to Lougy, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D., Essex), and Deborah Gramiccioni, a trusted Christie confidante.

Christie, a Republican, named Lougy acting attorney general in late February after John J. Hoffman left that post for a job at Rutgers University.

Hoffman had served as acting attorney general since June 2013. New Jersey has not had a confirmed attorney general since Christie appointed Hoffman's predecessor, Jeffrey S. Chiesa, to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy created when Frank R. Lautenberg died.

The state constitution says the governor shall nominate and appoint the attorney general with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Lougy previously held other high-ranking positions in the Attorney General's Office. News of Christie's intent to nominate Lougy and others was first reported by Politico.

Spencer is deputy counsel for Essex County. Gramiccioni was a high-ranking official in the Attorney General's Office in Gov. Jon S. Corzine's administration. When Christie took office in 2010, Gramiccioni became director of the Authorities Unit and later deputy chief of staff for policy.

In the midst of the George Washington Bridge scandal, Christie tapped her to replace Bill Baroni as deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Baroni has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the bridge case.

Gramiccioni works at New York University School of Law.

Judicial nominees must be confirmed by the Senate.

aseidman@phillynews.com

856-779-3846 @AndrewSeidman