Gov.-elect Christopher Christie has chosen Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow as his Attorney General, The Star-Ledger reports. Dow, 54, was a career federal prosecutor before taking the county post in 2003. If nominated and confirmed, Dow would succeed Anne Milgram, who was planning to leave regardless of the results of last month’s gubernatorial election.
A Montclair resident, Dow worked for the U.S. Attorney-Southern District of New York from 1987 to 1994, and for the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey from 1994 to 2003. She served as Counsel to the U.S. Attorney and in the Special Prosecutions and Criminal Division. She was a corporate attorney for Exxon from 1980 to 1987. She is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Dow’s last trial as a federal prosecutor ended in March 2003 when Irvington Mayor Sara Bost pleaded guilty to bribery charges after her trial had begun. Bost was one of the early victories in Christie’s war on corruption, which eventually led to more than 100 public officials going to prison during his seven years as the U.S. Attorney.
When Gov. James E. McGreevey appointed Dow to serve as Essex Prosecutor in 2003, then-State Sen. Sharpe James, the Mayor of Newark, used senatorial courtesy to block her appointment; she also faced opposition from two other State Senators, Nia Gill and Ronald Rice, who had pushed for the nomination of now-Superior Court Judge Siobhan Teare. She was named Acting Prosecutor by the state Attorney General. After Richard Codey became Governor in 2004, he renominated Dow and pushed the other Essex Senators to support her nomination.