Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie kept gubernatorial politics out of his initial statement on the resignation of First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown, leaving the task to his running mate for lieutenant governor, Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno.
Brown resigned a week after her ongoing repayment of a $46,000 loan Christie gave her two years ago was first reported.
"Michele Brown is a career prosecutor who has worked at the U.S. Attorney's office for 18 years, serving both Democratic and Republican presidents. Michele's long and distinguished record of public service is impressive, and during that time she's shown herself to be a fair and respected federal prosecutor among judges, adversaries and her peers," said Christie. "Her efforts have been instrumental to all the success the U.S. Attorney's office has had and her work ethic, determination and outstanding legal background will be missed by all those she has worked with over the years. I know Michele will continue to be a success at whatever she chooses for her next challenge.”
It was Guadagno who blamed Governor Corzine for impugning Brown and forcing her to end "an acclaimed career."
"It is despicable that Jon Corzine has stooped so low to try to win re-election that he's aimed the negative attacks of his hired guns on a dedicated public servant who made it her life's mission to serve the people of New Jersey as a corruption-fighter," she said. " As candidates willingly running for office, we expect this kind of mudslinging, but we don't expect it to be aimed at someone who has made a career serving both Democrats and Republicans in the best interest of the public good. Jon Corzine should be ashamed that he has smeared a respected federal prosecutor's name and forced her to end an acclaimed career in the sole interest of scoring petty political points."
State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Edgewater Park), who was a finalist to be Christie's running mate, furthered Guadagno's message.
"Jon Corzine earned a reputation that he was willing to spend millions on negative attacks and play down and dirty in order to win. He has certainly lived up to that reputation with his most recent target – a career prosecutor who has made it her life's work to end New Jersey's culture of corruption," she sai. "Apparentlya nearly20 year commitment serving the public doesn't matter to Jon Corzine if you are a means to his political end. It's shameful that a female prosecutor who has clearly proven her talent and ability to get the job done is no longer able to do the job she has done so well for nearly two decades."
"As a woman who has fought for everything I've gotten in my career, I am outraged by Jon Corzine's malicious and targeted attack on a career prosecutor who has worked diligently to combat corruption in our state. I would say Jon Corzine should be ashamed of going after a woman who has more than proven her talent through hard work and dedication, but that would be giving him too much credit," said Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Montvale). "It's a sad day in New Jersey when politics has reached this new kind of low and I am disheartened that an accomplished prosecutor who proved her mettle in the courtroom time and time again has been forced to resign."
DiAnne Gove, who will be replacing Daniel Van Pelt in the State Assembly, says that Brown's resignation "is just another indication that Jon Corzine is willing to do anything to get elected."
"He didn't think twice when it came to letting his campaign attack dogs go after a public servant who has spent her career fighting against corruption and fraud. Governor Corzine and his campaign owe Michele Brown an apology for their ruthless attacks and the irreversible damage they've done to the reputation of a distinguished and accomplished woman," said Gove.