Christie to resign effective Dec. 1

U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie today announced his intention to resign effective Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m., according to Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In a two-page letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, dated Nov. 17, Christie writes that during his time in office since 2002, “A new level of attention was brought to the scourge of political corruption in this state and we are proud of the results. There have been 130 convictions of elected and appointed political officials in the last seven years without an acquittal.”

Drewniak said Christie told staff about his plans at a meeting today in the Rodino Federal Building in Newark.

The retiring U.S. Attorney is widely seen as a Republican Party challenger next year to Gov. Jon Corzine.

In his letter to Mukasey, Christie notes his office’s case against a Belarusian ring of child pornographers, which led to 1,500 arrests worldwide; and Operation Emissary, a human trafficking casethat led to more than 350 prosecutions in the U.S. alone.

He reminds Mukasey of convictions secured in 1,000 violent crime cases, and a $265 million court settlement his office won against the state’s largest heath care system for Medicare fraud.

The retiring U.S. Attorney says a 25 percent increase in staff at the Trenton and Camden offices during his watch led to more vigorous prosecution of crime in South Jersey.

“It has been the greatest profesional experience of my life to serve at the Department of Justice, to serve with the dedicated people of this office, and to serve the people of New Jersey,” Christie writes.