Updated 4:52 p.m. ET, 1/17/2014
(CNN) – As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration deals with an unfolding political scandal involving top aides, another case involving accusations of cronyism has attracted new attention.
Bennett Barlyn, a former New Jersey assistant prosecutor, alleges he and other prosecutors were fired in 2010 for going after a local sheriff who happened to be close to Christie and the lieutenant governor.
Barlyn said the Hunterdon County sheriff and her staff were indicted on 43 counts involving corruption and abuse of power.
But then New Jersey's attorney general "swooped in and basically killed the case abruptly," Barlyn said on CNN's "New Day."
Then-Attorney General Paula Dow had claimed one of the prosecutors mispresented the case to the grand jury and had errors in his presentation, Barlyn said. All 43 counts were dismissed.
"There's no way that serious errors could have justified the dismissal of every count in the indictment," he argued. "In New Jersey, case law is very clear. It takes a tremendous amount of error to justify the dismissal of an indictment. It's very different than a jury trial."
After Baryln argued the dismissal was improper, he was fired. Two other prosecutors were also forced out.
Two years ago, he filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging the attorney general acted to protect allies of the governor.
While attorneys general are typically elected and operate independently of the governor's office, New Jersey is one of the few states where the AG is appointed.
"I was a prosecutor in the attorney general's office for close to 15 years. There's a very tight relationship between the attorney general and the governor of New Jersey," he said.
In a New York Times report from October, a spokesman for Christie's office brushed off the allegations, saying Hunterdon County is known for its "ferocious local politics."
“This truly is some of the most wild-eyed conspiracy theories I’ve heard in a long time,” Michael Drewniak said.
CNN reached out to the attorney general's office. It said it could not comment due to pending litigation.
Barlyn says he is not trying to take advantage of the spotlight that's now on Christie's administration over suggestions top aides orchestrated traffic gridlock near the George Washington Bridge last year in a case of alleged political payback.
For his part, Barlyn points to the fact that his case started at the very beginning of Christie's first term.
"My position is that people are correctly making, connecting the dots between what happened in Hunterdon and what happened in ‘Bridgegate,’" he said.
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.