Though this item is a few days old, at least one reader has already suggested that if Byron Houston requires new representation, he might find an empathetic defender in Christopher Daul. From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Mark Mueller.

A Hunterdon County lawyer who served in a variety of state posts, including a stint on Gov. Jon Corzine’s transition team, has been arrested for allegedly masturbating in the nude at a Flemington bus stop.

Christopher L. Daul, 49, was charged with lewdness and disorderly conduct by Flemington police Friday afternoon, a short time after the alleged incident near the Liberty Village outlet.

Daul, a politically active figure who is married to an executive in the state Treasury Department, was released on his own recognizance, police Cpl. Bob Lamothe said. A telephone message left at Daul’s home in Stockton was not immediately returned.

The incident unfolded around 12:30 p.m. Friday, shortly after a Raritan woman parked near the bus stop to drop off a friend. The woman, Gretchen Furlong, said moments later she saw what appeared to be a naked person alongside a nearby minivan. She said the man wore only glasses, dark socks and a hands-free headset.

“He faced us and stood there, masturbating,” Furlong said. “He was there for 30, 45 seconds. He wasn’t smiling, but he wasn’t completely straight-faced. It was disgusting.”

As Furlong dialed 911 on her cell phone, the man climbed into his van. She said she pulled behind him and jotted down his license plate number, even noting a dent in the Town & Country van, before he drove off.

Authorities traced the license plate number to Daul, and Furlong later picked him out of a photo lineup.

Without wishing to diminish the seriousness of the (alleged) crime, nor the psychic trauma endured by Ms. Furlong, who amongst us has not felt a tad bored while waiting for a bus? And not to question Mr. Mueller’s journalistic credentials, but someone wearing socks, glasses and a hands-free headset does not technically constitute a “naked person”.

It might, however, be interesting to know how Daul’s van was dented, particularly as we’ve all read so much about the importance of keeping both hands on the wheel.