Close Christie adviser resigns halfway house job

    One of Gov. Chris Christie’s closest friends and political advisers is stepping down from his positions at New Jersey’s largest operator of privately run halfway houses.

    Christie’s former law partner Bill Palatucci is resigning as a senior vice president and general counsel at Community Education Centers.

    The CEC was criticized at recent legislative hearings following a series of articles in The New York Times describing escapes, violence, security lapses, drug use and other problems at their facilities.

    The Star-Ledger reports that Palatucci is stepping down Nov. 15 and will affiliate with a law firm.

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    Palatucci declined to say whether the move means he’s preparing to help Christie run for re-election.

    He says he wants to be available to help Republican candidates “up and down the ticket” in 2013.

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