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Judge tosses former Hunterdon sheriff's malicious prosecution suit against county

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NEWTON, New Jersey — A judge has thrown out a malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by a former county sheriff that is at the heart of a separate lawsuit alleging the prosecution was dropped because it involved an ally of Gov. Chris Christie.

Former Hunterdon County Sheriff Deborah Trout and two subordinates claimed they were retaliated against because of whistleblower complaints they had filed.

A judge in Sussex County dismissed their complaint last week.

The three were indicted on charges including official misconduct. But the state attorney general's office dropped the indictment in 2010, saying it wasn't legally sound.

Then-Hunterdon County assistant prosecutor Ben Barlyn claims in a separate lawsuit he was fired after saying the case was dropped because a member of Christie's transition team was a material witness, though not charged.

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