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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2008

ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO, PROSECUTOR DOW,
SHERIFF FONTOURA AND ESSEX COUNTY POLICE CHIEFS ASSOCIATION
HONOR FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY CHRISTOPHER J. CHRISTIE

Afternoon Salute Recognizes Christie for Raising Awareness
about Ethics in Government and for Being a Valuable Resource
for Local Law Enforcement

Newark, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. joined with Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura and the Essex County Police Chiefs Association to honor former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Christopher J. Christie on Tuesday, December 2nd. One of the longest serving US Attorneys in New Jersey history, Christie was recognized for working with Essex County to ensure an open and ethical government, for presenting programs about the meaning of public service and ethics in government for the County's executive staff and for being a valuable resource for local law enforcement agencies.

"Chris Christie has been a great friend and source of guidance for Essex County. We have relied on his expertise to build accountability. He has never turned down a request to speak to my executive staff about ethics in government and his presentations have served as our conscience and helped us remain vigilant," County Executive DiVincenzo said.

"People always ask why Chris Christie and Joe DiVincenzo are so close. I know Joe D. cares very much about Essex County and was determined to bring change to this government. He has stood for honesty, integrity and toughness in a place that was in a disaster both ethically and financially when he inherited it six years ago," Christie said. "I can't tell you how much being honored at the County seat means to me. This is truly an act of friendship," he added.

Essex County and law enforcement officials shared their thoughts about Christie while congratulating him on his seven years in office.

"Chris Christie has been an inspirational leader to all who serve in law enforcement," said Prosecutor Dow. "His steadfast dedication in the search of justice, by reaching out to prosecutors and police across all county lines, left a mark in every corner of New Jersey, which ultimately helped enhance the safety and restore the integrity that the citizens of this state deserve," she added.

"Chris Christie put real teeth into the United States Attorney's office," Sheriff Fontoura said. "During his tenure, the U.S. Attorney's office compiled a remarkable record, resulting in the successful prosecution and conviction of hundreds of gang members, firearms traffickers and violent and white collar criminals," he added.

"Chris Christie has overcome his critics and certainly enjoyed success during his seven years as US Attorney. Because of Chris, New Jersey is a far better place to live," said Weyson Dunn, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Newark office. "I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors," he added.

"Chris Christie has been a hard working, hands-on U.S. Attorney, whose positive influence has been felt throughout Essex County and New Jersey," said Belleville Police Chief Joseph Rotonda, who currently serves as President of the Essex County Police Chiefs Association. "Through his leadership, law enforcement officials on the Federal, State, County and Local levels are working together with unprecedented cooperation to fight crime and keep our streets safe," he added.

"I thank Chris for the support and friendship he has given to Joe DiVincenzo's administration. When Joe announced his policy of transparent government, it took a strong U.S. Attorney to stand beside him," Essex County Inspector General Dominic Scaglione said. "We always knew his door was open to us," he added.

Christie was nominated by President George W. Bush to be U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey on December 7, 2001 and was sworn into office on January 17th, 2002. Under Christie's leadership, the U.S. Attorney's Office, which has over 150 attorneys in Newark, Camden and Trenton, was restructured and made more efficient. His office took a tough stance on public corruption, gang violence, drug and weapons trafficking, child pornography, violence by illegal immigrants and protecting human rights. Christie's resignation as U.S. Attorney was effective Tuesday, December 2nd.

He grew up in Livingston and served as a Freeholder in Morris County. Christie was a partner in the Cranford law firm of Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci and specialized in securities law and appellate practice before his federal service. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1984 and from Seton Hall University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1987. Christie was admitted to the Bar of the State of New Jersey and the Bar of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, in December 1987

 
 
 
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