Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to nominate Raymond Santiago as the new Monmouth County Prosecutor, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.
He will replace Lori Linskey, who has served as acting prosecutor since June 2021 and had been a top contender for the post.
“The governor’s office has informed me that that next Monmouth County Prosecutor will be formally nominated this Thursday. Unfortunately, it will not be me,” Linskey said in an e-mail to some of her staff on Monday evening. “I wanted you to hear this from me first.”
Santiago becomes the first Hispanic prosecutor to be nominated by Murphy, not including others picked by previous governors whom he had renominated. He was recommended by Senate Majority Conference Leader Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch).
He worked for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office and for the Southern District of New York before opening his own law firm in Freehold.
Santiago was the Democratic nominee for State Senate in 2011, losing to State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) by a 57%-43% margin. Gopal had run unsuccessfully for an Assembly seat on Santiago’s slate that year.
Linskey stepped in last year after Christopher Gramiccioni resigned and moved to South Carolina.
In June, Gramiccioni entered local politics as a candidate for the Charleston County Council. In a primary against incumbent Larry Kobrovsky, the former Charleston County GOP Chairman, Gramiccioni got smoked. He lost 63%-37% after raising $26,775.
Santiago is expected to be named acting prosecutor as he awaits Senate confirmation.
Linskey promised a smooth transition.
“Since it is the governor’s announcement to make, it would be inappropriate for me to say more at this time,” she said in an e-mail that essentially trumped Murphy’s announcement.
She joined the prosecutor’s office in 2013 when Gramiccioni brought her on from her post as a senior counsel to the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. Linskey had worked for the prosecutor’s wife when Deborah Gramiccioni had served as director of the division.
Gramiccioni was named prosecutor by Gov. Chris Christie. Deborah Gramiccioni, a former deputy chief of staff to Christie, resigned her Superior Court judgeship around the same time. Christopher and Deborah Gramiccioni opened a law firm with offices in South Carolina and New Jersey.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to sit in the prosecutor’s seat these last 15 months and to serve this office for nearly 10 years,” Linskey said. “From my first day in this office until now, I have always tried to do my very best to be of service to this office and our mission. I am not yet certain of my next steps, which are still being worked out in this process.”