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Christie nominates attorney general for Superior Court

Paula Dow would move to the bench. Christie counsel Jeff Chiesa would get her old job.

TRENTON - Gov. Christie shuffled his cabinet Monday, nominating Attorney General Paula Dow to become a Superior Court judge in Essex County and his chief counsel, Jeff Chiesa, to take her place.

Both appointments require confirmation by the state Senate.

Christie, a Republican, said he hoped Chiesa could be confirmed before Jan. 1. In that scenario, Dow would move to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to serve as the first deputy general counsel while she awaited confirmation to the bench.

Dow and Chiesa are original members of Christie's administration. Each has served for about two years.

Dow, a Democrat who served as Christie's counsel for a year when he was U.S. attorney, does not need confirmation for her role at the Port Authority. Christie said she would "quickly recommend structural and procedural changes that will end the abuse and waste that has marked the authority's past."

Dow said the bistate agency needed "a lot of attention at this time."

Christie said he expected a quick confirmation for Dow because she had been through it before.

"There can't be any dispute over this," Christie said, noting that she had already been twice confirmed by the Senate, first to serve as Essex County attorney, then as attorney general.

Chiesa has known Christie for more than 20 years and served as executive director of his transition team. He previously was a partner at the law firm of Wolff & Samson, in its litigation group, and before that worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office.