A Seton Hall law school dean has been selected to serve as an independent watchdog in Gov. Chris Christie’s office.
Christie announced the selection of Patrick Hobbs on Thursday.
The position was one of the changes recommended at the conclusion of a report issued last month by a law firm that had been hired to investigate wrongdoing in the administration.
Hobbs is expected to use the ombudsman position to inform governor’s office employees of their ethical duties and improve the functioning of the office, according to a report on northjersey.com.
Christie has given the ombudsman “full authority and independence,” Hobbs told northjersey.com.
Hobbs will also “serve as an impartial outlet for employees to raise concerns” and will evaluate and revise the office’s policies for electronic communications, according to an announcement from the governor’s office.
Hobbs will stay on as dean and professor of law at Seton Hall's Newark-based law school, and serve part-time in his new role—a position for which he will earn $75,000, according to the Daily Record.
An official from the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity and Democratic State Sen. Raymond Lesniak praised the hiring.
The report issued in March by the corporate law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher pinned blame for the ‘Bridgegate’ scandal on the governor’s former chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, but recommended several changes to the governor's office.
The governor also announced Thursday the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs—which Kelly led when she called for the lane closures last year—would be disbanded.