President Obama is expected to nominate Paul Fishman as the new U.S. Attorney for New Jersey within the next few days, possibly as early as tomorrow, sources say. His nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Fishman was recommended for the post by U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) and Robert Menendez (D-Hoboken) last February. The post has been vacant since Republican Christopher J. Christie resigned on December 1. Ralph Marra, Jr. is now the Acting U.S. Attorney.
The 52-year-old Fishman, a Princeton University graduate and editor of the Harvard Law Review, worked in the U.S. Attorney's office as Chief of the Criminal Division and as First Assistant before going to Washington as a senior advisor to Reno and as a Deputy U.S. Attorney General. Fishman is a partner at Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler and Adelman, where he specializes in white collar criminal matters. Fishman has represented several public officials prosecuted by Christie, and is currently an attorney for former CWA Local 1034 President Carla Katz, who is seeking to keep her e-mail correspondence with Governor Jon Corzine private.
Lautenberg pushed hard for Fishman to get the U.S. Attorney post when Faith Hochberg was nominated to a federal judgeship in 1999. But Fishman got in the middle of a rather extraordinary public feud between Lautenberg and U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli. The Clinton administration sided with Torricelli, and when Hochberg resigned to take her seat on the bench (after a lengthy delay in the confirmation process), Attorney General Janet Reno elevated Torricelli's preferred choice, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cleary, as New Jersey's interim federal prosecutor.