The Latino Coalition of New Jersey wants Gov. Phil Murphy to nominate Raymond Santiago as the new Monmouth County Prosecutor.
The current prosecutor, Christopher Gramiccioni, is stepping down on June 1.
“We call on Governor Phil Murphy to follow through on his commitment to diversity by nominating Santiago to the position,” said Frank Argote-Freyre, the director of the LCNJ. “Santiago has served as a prosecutor and a public defender and that experience would serve him well. His sensitivity to community issues would contribute to promoting justice in the county.”
Santiago 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. He was the Democratic nominee for State Senate in 2011.
Republicans in Monmouth – and Gramiccioni — are pushing Lori Linskey, the current first assistant prosecutor.
Robert Honecker, Jr., a partner at the politically influential Ansell Grimm & Aaron law firm, is also viewed as a serious candidate for the post. He is a former first assistant prosecutor and served as the acting Monmouth County Prosecutor. Honecker has generated considerable support among local law enforcement.
“As an attorney myself, I have had the pleasure of knowing Raymond Santiago for nearly a decade,” said Lazaro Cardenas, the deputy director of the 18-year-old group that promotes civil rights and Latino empowerment. “His high ethics and dedication to his clients’ cases have gained him the respect of his peers. He is the right choice for Monmouth County Prosecutor.”
Earlier this month, a letter signed by pastors and community leaders led by Rev. Ronald Sparks of the Bethel AME Church in Freehold urged Murphy to nominate a person of color as the new prosecutor.
Linskey 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. She had worked for the prosecutor’s wife when Deborah Gramiccioni was director of the division.
Two state senators have sign off authority over the prosecutor post: Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver). If Murphy nominates Linskey, State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood), who represents her hometown, would also have courtesy over the nomination.