A group of Monmouth County clergymen want Gov. Phil Murphy to nominate a person of color as the new prosecutor in his home county.
A letter signed by pastors and community leaders led by Rev. Ronald Sparks of the Bethel AME Church in Freehold are telling Murphy it’s time to break a new glass ceiling as he picks the county’s top lawman. The letter was first reported by the Asbury Park Press.
The move could influence Murphy, who has nominated just two non-white county prosecutor, Theodore Stephens in Essex and Yolanda Ciccone in Middlesex, since he took office more than three years ago.
The current prosecutor, Christopher Gramiccioni, resigned last month. His last day is June 1.
Republicans in Monmouth are pushing Lori Linskey, the current first assistant prosecutor, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
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. His wife, who is stepping down as a Superior Court Judge next week, served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff. Christopher and Deborah Gramiccioni are expected to open their own law firm.
Another potential candidate for the post, Raymond Santiago, would be the first Latino prosecutor named by Murphy.
Santiago was the Democratic nominee for State Senate in 2011, losing to State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) by a 57%-43% margin. He had 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.
The third possible candidate for the post is Robert Honecker, Jr., a partner at the politically influential Ansell Grimm & Aaron law firm. He is a former first assistant prosecutor and served as the acting Monmouth County Prosecutor. He has generated considerable support among local law enforcement.