A former assistant county prosecutor from New Jersey is linking his 2010 firing with the traffic-jam scandal that’s engulfed Gov. Chris Christie, saying he was dismissed in a “mafia-esque” episode after securing an indictment against a sheriff loyal to the Republican governor, according to a report in MailOnline.
Bennett Barlyn, who served in central Jersey’s Hunterdon County, spoke to the publication amid revelations that members of Mr. Christie’s staff closed toll lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., to the George Washington Bridge for several days in September, perhaps as political payback to a Democratic mayor.
Mr. Barlyn obtained indictments against a county sheriff accused of hiring staff without proper vetting, giving a Christie donor a false law enforcement ID and forcing subordinates to sign loyalty oaths, the MailOnline report said.
Once the indictments were unsealed, he said, Christie’s deputy attorney general showed up to take over the prosecutor’s office.
“It’s the same modus operandi,” he told MailOnline. “It’s the governor’s office again using a state agency in an improper way for political purposes.”
“It shows his willingness to hurt people who are principled and who do take their oaths of office really seriously. If you’re in the way of his political ambitions you’re a target, or at least a potential target,” Mr. Barlyn added.
Mr. Barlyn sued, and the litigation is pending.
A spokesman for Mr. Christie has told the Newark Star-Ledger that Mr. Barlyn’s accusations are “ridiculous.”