STATE – A former Hunterdon County assistant prosecutor is suing the state, alleging that he lost his job for saying that the attorney general quashed an indictment to protect prominent supporters of Gov. Chris Christie, the New York Times reported.
A spokesperson for the governor dismissed the claims as “wild-eyed conspiracy theories”, but Bennett A. Barlyn told the Times, “I was frog-marched out of the prosecutor’s office because I objected to the dismissal of a viable case against an important local official.”
In 2010, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office announced the indictment of Republican Sheriff Deborah Trout and two of her deputies. Trout was accused of hiring deputies without conducting proper background checks, while the deputies allegedly made fake police badges for a prominent Christie donor.
On the day that the indictment was unsealed, then-Attorney General Paula T. Dow, a Christie appointee, assigned a deputy attorney general to take over the operation of the Hunterdon County prosecutor’s office. Within a few months, the indictment had been thrown out and Barlyn and two other prosecutors had lost their jobs.
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