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Gov. Phil Murphy's chief counsel Matt Platkin.

Platkin resigns; Garrenger named acting chief counsel

Career state employee has worked in the governor’s office since Christie Whitman

By David Wildstein, January 14 2020 10:55 pm

Matt Platkin filed his resignation letter as Gov. Phil Murphy’s chief counsel today and drove to Washington after the State of the State address to begin his new job as an advisor to Cory Booker on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Platkin is expected to return to Murphy’s staff after the U.S. Senate completes the Trump impeachment trial.

In the meantime, Murphy named Robert Garrenger, a career state employee, as his acting chief counsel.

The counsel’s office will essentially be run by a committee consisting of Garrenger and deputy chief counsels Parimal Garg, Kate McDonnell and Brian Wilton, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Garrenger has been serving as Murphy’s senior special counsel for finance, managing the legal sufficiency of the state budget.

He began his career as a deputy state attorney general in 1995, and has worked in the governor’s office in a variety of posts since Christine Todd Whitman hired him in 1999.

The New Jersey Globe first reported Platkin’s departure last week.

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