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Acting New Jersey Commissioner of Human Services Sarah Adelman. (Photo: Sarah Adelman).

Cohort of acting commissioners in Murphy administration reduced by one

Adelman confirmed for a full term as Human Services commissioner

By Joey Fox, March 24 2022 5:11 pm

Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate today for a full term as commissioner, more than a year after she first took over the department in an acting capacity.

When Commissioner Carole Johnson left state government to take a role in the Biden administration in early 2021, Adelman, then a deputy commissioner, took over the Human Services department in her stead. But Adelman remained an acting commissioner for a year before Gov. Phil Murphy formally nominated her this January; she advanced uncontroversially from the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week.

Her confirmation means that the Murphy administration has one fewer acting department head in its ranks, but five still remain. Acting Secretary of State Tahesha Way (who was confirmed in 2018 but needed to be reappointed when Murphy won re-election), acting Attorney General Matt Platkin, acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting Comptroller Kevin Walsh, and acting Corrections Commissioner Victoria Kuhn all remain unconfirmed by the Senate.

Also approved by the Senate today were nine Superior Court nominees – seven incumbent judges up for new terms and two nominees, Aravind Aithal and Gregg Rubenstein, who will be new to the court – as well as former Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold), who is set to become a Workers’ Compensation Court judge.

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