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Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, right. (Photo: Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office).

Atlantic County prosecutor resigns

Cary Shill will serve as acting prosecutor, replacing Damon Tyner

By David Wildstein, July 20 2021 9:00 am

Damon Tyner has resigned as Atlantic County Prosecutor, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

An investigation by the state attorney general’s office earlier this year found evidence of ethics violations in the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office after probing two ethics complaints that Tyner violated policy by directly supervising his brother, an investigator, and by failing to recuse himself from a matter in which he had previously been active.

The first assistant prosecutor, Cary Shill, will serve as acting prosecutor.

Shill was slapped in the investigation for using a victim witness vehicle and then retaliating against a subordinate who complained.

Both mishandled forfeiture funds, the attorney general’s report said.

Tyner, a Democrat, was nominated to serve as prosecutor in 2017 by Gov. Chris Christie with the approval of the late James Whelan (D-Atlantic City), then the state senator from the 2nd district.    He had served as an administrative law judge and three years as a Superior Court Judge before becoming prosecutor.

Shill began at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office in 1989, spent several years as an assistant prosecutor in Essex, and then returned to Atlantic.

It’s unlikely that Gov. Phil Murphy will nominate a successor before the upcoming election.

State Sen. Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor) resigned on Monday to take a state job and his interim successor – likely to be Republican Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township), a former assemblyman – is not expected to be sworn in until after Election Day.

The winner of the Senate race – either Polistina or Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield – will have senatorial courtesy over the nomination of a new prosecutor.

Tyner unsuccessfully sought a State Assembly seat twice in the 2nd district.

Running with Whelan, Tyner lost to Assemblyman Frank Blee (R-Absecon) by 1,582 votes in 2005.  Brown defeated him by 3,521 votes in 2011.

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