Former N.J. prosecutor wants open records on quashed indictment

Jan. 29, 2014 at 4:23 PM
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TRENTON, N.J., Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A former New Jersey county prosecutor says he was fired by the Christie administration for fighting efforts to quash the indictment of an ally of the governor.

Bennett A. Barlyn has filed a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, the (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Wednesday. He was dismissed as Hunterdon County prosecutor in 2010 and now teaches in Pennsylvania.

Barlyn's lawyer asked a state appeals court Tuesday to release confidential records on the indictment of former Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout. Court records show she supported Christie's campaign in 2009 and is an acquaintance of Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Barlyn's office charged Trout hired deputies without doing background checks and gave a fake police badge to a pharmaceutical executive who had made large donations to the governor. But the office of then-Attorney General Paula Dow quashed the indictment.

"The case simply died on the vine," Barlyn said.

Dow and other officials have said both the indictment quashing and Barlyn's firing were legitimate decisions.

"If they want to prove that Mr. Barlyn was not fired in retaliation for complaining about what he perceived to be the corrupt dismissal of the indictment, they should want this information, because it will undermine our case," Barlyn's lawyer said Tuesday. "But they haven't asked for it, and the question is why?"

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