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Chiesa returns to Wolff & Samson after stint as interim U.S. senator

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Jeff Chiesa did not run to keep his interim Senate seat in October's special election, ultimately won by former Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Jeff Chiesa did not run to keep his interim Senate seat in October's special election, ultimately won by former Newark Mayor Cory Booker. - (NJBIZ file)

By Joshua Burd | Email | Twitter

Jeff Chiesa has landed in a familiar place — Wolff & Samson — after spending five months filling in as a U.S. senator, the West Orange-based law firm announced today.

The former state attorney general has rejoined the firm as a partner after being tapped by Gov. Chris Christie in June to fill the vacancy left by the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. The seat has since been filled by former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who was sworn in Oct. 31 after winning a special election two weeks earlier.

Chiesa, a longtime Christie friend and aide, was a member of Wolff & Samson before serving as the governor's chief counsel from 2010 to 2012. Christie then appointed him attorney general, a post he held until stepping down to become an interim senator.

The Republican's stint in Washington encompassed a rancorous stretch for Capitol Hill, where partisan lawmakers clashed over issues such as immigration reform, the government shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Two weeks after taking over the seat, Chiesa surprised some by voting in favor a bill that would strengthen border security and give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.

He will now work in Wolff & Samson's litigation, corporate internal investigations and white-collar criminal defense groups, the firm said in a news release. And he joins another top Christie confidante, David Samson, the firm's founding member who also serves as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Chiesa also served as an executive assistant U.S. attorney when Christie was the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey. Prior to that, he worked at the Cranford law firm then known as Dughi & Hewit, where he and Christie worked together as young attorneys.

Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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