The County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey today urged Gov. Phil Murphy to veto or conditionally veto a bill that removes mandatory minimum sentences for public officials convicted of crimes involving their job after Attorney General Gurbir Grewal lobbied heavily for their support.
But support for the letter lobbying Murphy was underwhelming, with just slightly more than a majority of prosecutors signing on, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Several sources confirmed that Grewal strongly urged prosecutors to take a stand on the bill, calling his bid for a position one of the most important stands they can take in their career.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez told Murphy that the prosecutors had opposed the amended bill and that official misconduct was not part of the original recommendation of the Criminal Sentencing Disposition Commission.
“The CPANJ felt so strongly that these recommendations should be implemented that it was the moving party to adopt the report,” Suarez said in her capacity as the president of the association. “The minimum mandatory sentences of the added crimes are a key deterrent to entrusted public officials and employees from violating their sworn duty.
Steven Barnes, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Grewal attended a regularly scheduled meeting of the CPANNJ this morning.
“We don’t have a comment on the meeting agenda or on CPANJ’s internal deliberations, which would not have involved the AG or our office,” Barnes said.