Report: N.J. Senate panel advances AG nominee Chiesa

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 5, 2012, 1:34pm


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey's Senate Judiciary Committee has reportedly interviewed and advanced Gov. Chris Christie's attorney general nominee.

According to The Star-Ledger, Jeffrey Chiesa's nomination was "easily advanced" by the panel with a unanimous 13-0 vote Thursday.

The full Senate will vote on his nomination Monday, the newspaper reported.

Chiesa would replace former Attorney General Paula Dow, who announced last month she was stepping down as the state's top lawyer. Her last day was Tuesday.

Christie said last month that Dow will become deputy general counsel for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- a temporary post.

In the meantime, she has been nominated to the Essex County Superior Court. The court currently has 11 vacancies.

However, The Star-Ledger reported earlier this week that a political fight between Democratic senators from the county and Christie could delay her confirmation.

"I take the problems at the Port Authority seriously enough that I've asked my attorney general to go over there and look at what's going on and the legal operations over there to make sure some of the problems, inconsistencies and misses we've had don't happen again," Christie told the newspaper of Dow's new position last month.

Christie, a Republican, nominated Dow, a Democrat, to the position in December 2009. She was the first black woman appointed attorney general in New Jersey.

Chiesa, the governor's former chief counsel, worked for Christie in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark from 2002-09, last serving as the executive assistant U.S. attorney before becoming a partner at law firm Wolff and Samson.

He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a degree in business administration in accounting. He received his law degree from Catholic University of America.

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