Governor-Elect Chris Christie today named former federal prosecutors with proven records of battling corruption to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office leadership team. Christie appointed Essex County Prosecutor Paula Dow as Attorney General; Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s office Marc Ferzan, as Executive Assistant Attorney General; Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s office Phillip Kwon, as First Assistant Attorney General; and First Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray, as Counsel to the Attorney General.
The incoming leadership team at the Attorney General’s office will work hand in hand with the U.S Attorney’s office to make fighting corruption a priority. Dow has experience both in the U.S. Attorney’s office where she led the corruption case against former Irvington Mayor Sara Boas and as Essex County Prosecutor. Dow currently oversees the largest office in the state, managing 430 total employees, including investigators, assistant prosecutors and support staff.
Governor-Elect Christie said, “The only way we are going to change the culture of corruption in New Jersey is by making it a priority at all levels of government. I am confident that this strong team will only reinforce that corruption will not be tolerated in the Christie administration.
“I am honored to have Paula’s experience, know-how and tough approach leading this dedicated group of federal prosecutors who know exactly what we need to do to root out waste, fraud and corruption because they’ve done it before,” concluded Christie.
Paula Dow, New Jersey Attorney General
In October 2003 Paula T. Dow of Maplewood, New Jersey assumed the office of Acting Essex County Prosecutor. In this position, Prosecutor Dow oversees an office of over 400 assistant prosecutors, investigators, and support staff and serves as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in New Jersey’s busiest County.
Before joining the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Paula Dow worked for eight years in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. From 2001 to 2003, she served as Counsel to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie.
As an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Dow previously handled criminal prosecutions in the Special Prosecutions Division and the Criminal Division of New Jersey’s United States Attorney’s Office. From 1987 to 1994 Ms. Dow served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Dow earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she majored in government and economics. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1980. Ms. Dow is admitted to the Bars of New Jersey, New York and Texas; the United States Supreme Court; the Second and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeals; the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, District of New Jersey, and Northern and Southern Districts of Texas. Ms. Dow presently serves as President of the New Jersey Association of County Prosecutors. Ms. Dow is also a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, where she served as Co-Chair of the Judicial Administration Committee and previously chaired the Minorities in the Profession Section. She is also a member of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, Inc. and the Garden State Bar Association. Before being named Acting Essex County Prosecutor, Ms. Dow served as the New Jersey U.S. Attorney Liaison for the Orange and Newark Weed and Seed programs. Ms. Dow and her two sons are active members of St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair.
Paula Dow has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Essex County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, the Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers & Firefighters Assocation of Essex County Law Enforcement Award, the Clinton Hill Weed and Seed Outstanding Achievement Award, the Christian Love Baptist Church (Irvington, NJ) Community Service Award, the New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers Assn. Outstanding Police Work Award, the Miller Street Academy Award for Service to Youths, the New Jersey Chapter Achievement Award from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the N.A.A.C.P. (Newark Branch) Leadership in Community Advocacy Award.
She has also received certificates of appreciation for her work in law enforcement and community outreach from many federal, state and local departments and organizations.
Marc Ferzan, Executive Assistant Attorney General
In August 2001 Marc-Philip Ferzan joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey where he’s held various positions, including: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Commercial Crimes Unit, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division focusing on the Office’s white collar crimes program, as well as Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney and Acting Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Before joining the U.S Attorney’s Office, Mr. Ferzan also served as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and a Senior Counsel with the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has also spent time in private practice at law firms in New York and Philadelphia.
Mr. Ferzan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989 from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he majored in political science. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law School in New York, New York in 1992. Marc is admitted to the Bars of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
During his tenure of more than fifteen years in public service, Mr. Ferzan has received numerous awards and recognitions in connection with the investigation and prosecution of violations of banking, securities, healthcare, tax and other economic crimes.
Phillip Kwon, First Assistant Attorney General
In September 1999, Phillip Kwon joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division, focusing on crimes involving drugs, gangs, counterfeiting, white-collar fraud, and immigration fraud. Mr. Kwon then became an AUSA in the Special Prosecutions Division where he worked specifically on corruption cases and trials, including those involving Robert Janiszewski, Nidia Davila-Colon, William Braker, Zachary Turner, and others. He also secured convictions of those involved in the sale of fraudulent birth certificates from the Hudson County Registrar’s Office. Mr. Kwon was also a prosecutor on the trial team that convicted Sharpe James and Tamika Riley in their federal corruption case.
In 2005, Mr. Kwon was named as the Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit where he supervised the Office’s gang prosecutors. In 2006, Mr. Kwon was named as the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division where he directly oversaw the Commercial Crimes Unit, the Terrorism Unit, and the Violent Crimes Unit.
Mr. Kwon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where he majored in history. He graduated from Rutgers University School of Law School in Newark, N.J. in 1994. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Kwon was an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae in Newark, N.J. From 1997 to 1999, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Ackerman, a Federal District Court Judge sitting in Newark, N.J.
Carolyn Murray, Counsel to the Attorney General
Carolyn Murray received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, in 1984, and her law degree, in 1987, from the New York University School of Law. She joined the law firm of Tompkins, McGuire & Wachenfeld in Newark, New Jersey, after graduation, and in 1988, she became an Assistant Prosecutor in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
During the next seven years in Essex, she tried criminal cases in the Superior Court of New Jersey, including homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence and aggravated assault cases. In 1995, she joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey where she continued to try criminal cases, conducted narcotics wiretap investigations, coordinated multi-agency enforcement initiatives, and served as Violent Crime Coordinator. In 2002, she was named Chief of the Public Prosecution Unit.
Carolyn returned to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in 2003 to serve as First Assistant Prosecutor.