Former AG John Hoffman said he would get a nomination to the NJ Supreme Court

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Gov. Phil Murphy will nominate former acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman as the next justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Murphy administration officials said.

Appointed by then Governor. Chris Christie, Hoffman held the top law enforcement position in New Jersey from June 2013 through March 2016, making him the longest-serving attorney general in state history. He is currently general counsel and senior vice president at Rutgers University, where he has worked since 2016.

A confirmation would mean Murphy had selected five of the Supreme Court’s seven justices, the most since Gov. Christie Whitman in the 1990s. Hoffman, who lives in Burlington County, would take over the seat from Lee Solomon, a Republican who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 this year.

Murphy’s office issued a news release Saturday saying the Democratic governor would “make an important announcement” in Trenton on Monday.

John Jay Hoffman’s record as acting AG

During the Christie years, Hoffman was known for his fight against organized crime and carjacking rings. He also reformed state procedures for investigating police shootings, instituted body cameras for the New Jersey State Police, and oversaw the prosecution of fraudulent Superstorm Sandy relief claims. He also led programs to combat opioid abuse. That included initiatives to prevent prescription drug abuse and to distribute Narcan, an overdose antidote, to law enforcement agencies statewide, according to his biography on Rutgers’ website.

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There were also controversies, including his handling of Bridgegate, the scandal surrounding the politically motivated closure of lanes at the George Washington Bridge. Hoffman, after relinquishing the investigation to federal authorities, was criticized for being overly deferential to Chris Christie, at whose pleasure he served. His office also came under fire in 2015 when it sought to settle a $9 billion environmental case against ExxonMobil for $225 million.

Before being appointed acting attorney general, Hoffman led the State Comptroller’s Office’s Division of Investigations, a role focused on combating government waste, fraud and abuse. He also served as a trial attorney for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, where he focused on economic and white collar prosecutions.

Hoffman received his bachelor’s degree in 1987 from Colgate University and his law degree in 1992 from Duke University School of Law.