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Acting Salem County Prosecutor Kristin Telsey appears before the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation heairng on December 16, 2021. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

New Salem prosecutor headed to confirmation before Durr takes office

Judiciary Committee approves Murphy nomination of Kristin Telsey

By David Wildstein, December 16 2021 12:11 pm

Senate confirmation of a new Salem County Prosecutor is being expedited before Republican State Sen.-elect Edward Durr (R-Swedesboro) takes office next month.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced his choice of Kristin Telsey for the post in September, following the retirement of 18-year prosecutor John T. Lenahan.  He made his pick in consultation with Senate President Steve Sweeney, who represents all of Salem County.

Durr will take office on January 11 after ousting Sweeney in the general election last month.  After that, Durr will need to sign off on all gubernatorial nominations in Gloucester and Salem, as well as anyone from the three Cumberland municipalities in the 3rd legislative district.

Telsey’s nomination was formally submitted to the Senate on December 9, but she’s been serving as acting prosecutor for the last three months.  The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved her nomination on Thursday.

State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) expressed strong support for Telsey’s nomination, calling her “an old friend.”

If confirmed by the full Senate, she’ll serve a five-year term.

She had represented several Salem County municipalities as a municipal prosecutor.  Telsey was a law partner of former Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), who had chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to this election to Congress.  Her father-in-law had served as a Superior Court Judge.

The Judiciary Committee will also consider Murphy’s nomination of Grace MacAulay as the Camden County Prosecutor.  She’s been serving as acting prosecutor since December 1.

MacAulay spent 26 years as an Assistant Camden County Prosecutor, including four years as first assistant.

Next year, Republican senators will have senatorial courtesy over Murphy’s nominations in 16 of 21 counties.

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