Chris Christie Faces New Criminal Investigation

Former prosecutor says he was fired unfairly
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2015 7:30 PM CST
Chris Christie Faces New Criminal Investigation
In this Jan. 24, 2015, photo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.    (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Chris Christie's administration is under investigation yet again, this time for allegedly quashing indictments against three of his political supporters, ABC News reports. A couple years back in New Jersey, former Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Bennett Barlyn claimed he was fired for objecting when Christie officials canned indictments against a sheriff and two subordinates (the New York Times ran a front-page piece). Now Barlyn says the feds interviewed him this week and may be talking to others. Christie's office calls the allegations "conspiratorial nonsense"; then-New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow and other administration officials have said Barlyn was dismissed for "legitimate business reasons," the Star-Ledger reported last year.

Federal investigators are still in the discovery phase, looking into what laws may have been broken, the International Business Times reports. It goes back to former Sheriff Deborah Trout, who was accused of running her office as she pleased, hiring friends without mandatory background checks and regardless of their experience. A grand jury returned 43 indictments against her and two subordinates, but Christie's administration stepped in, seized the investigation, and had the grand jury indictments overturned. When Barlyn objected, he says, he was let go without explanation. "I was afforded less due process than the criminals I prosecute for the most minor offenses," he says. "I wasn't allowed to give my side of the story." Christie's administration is also under investigation over several bridge closings. (More Chris Christie stories.)

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