Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra calls reports of an internal ethics investigation into his comments "a wholly trumped up complaint" and say that his office has been "unfairly drawn into a political campaign through the barrage of FOIA requests," according to an e-mail he sent to employees that was obtained by PolitickerNJ.com.
Marra made his comments following the resignation of First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michele Brown, who became an issue in the race for governor after the disclosure that she received a $46,000 personal loan from Christopher Christie, the GOP gubernatorial candidate and the former U.S. Attorney. The clearly annoyed Marra referred to the loan as a "purported controversy."
Marc Larkins will become the Acting First Assistant tomorrow, and Marc Ferzan will serve as Acting Executive Assistant and as Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney for the South.
"We owe it to the public and ourselves to keep the work of the office going at our usual pace and at our usual standard of excellence," Marra wrote.
The full text of Marra's e-mail:
From: Marra, Ralph (USANJ)
Sent: Tue Aug 25 16:51:07 2009
Subject: Michele Brown
It's with great regret that I've accepted Michele's resignation as an AUSA, effective today. Michele has had a distinguished 18 year career in this Office and has been a wonderful friend and colleague. We wish her the best.
Effective tomorrow Marc Larkins will take over as Acting First Assistant and Marc Ferzan will wear the hats of Acting Executive Assistant and Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney for the South.
I know how distracting these transitions can be and this one has been made more difficult as the Office has been unfairly drawn into a political campaign through the barrage of FOIA requests; the purported controversy over Michele's personal loan, and a wholly trumped up (and then apparently leaked) complaint, reportedly about my generic and general comments at the Bid Rig press conference and the timing of the Bid Rig takedown.
We owe it to the public and ourselves to keep the work of the Office going at our usual pace and at our usual standard of excellence.