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Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes. (Photo: Passaic County Prosecutor's Office).

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Passaic prosecutor

Civil action against Valdes is dropped, but confirmation woes continue

By David Wildstein, May 05 2023 12:15 pm

A lawsuit filed against Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes by one of her employees was dismissed last week after Superior Court Judge Stephan Hansbury found that Daisy Vargas failed to show a valid claim under New Jersey’s whistleblower law.

Vargas, a stenographer in the prosecutor’s office, claims she was called on to decorate rooms in Valdes’ home, put up Christmas decorations, pull dead rats from her garbage can, and get her husband to repair the prosecutor’s car for free.  She alleged she was asked to lay out $1,000 of her own money to place a deposit on the funeral of Valdes’ father.

Another Superior Court Judge, Robert Vinci, dismissed other complaints filed by Vargas last summer.  A lawsuit filed against Valdes by another employee, Henry Hernandez, was dismissed in August.

But Valdes’ political problems are not over.

State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) and several local police unions have called for Valdes to resign, citing her refusal to investigate Paterson police officers who were later convicted of corrupt acts in federal court.

Valdes has served as prosecutor since Gov. Jon Corzine nominated her in 2009. She’s been on holdover status since 2019.   Gov. Phil Murphy has renominated her twice, but Corrado as the senator from Passaic County, has exercised courtesy and blocked Valdes from being considered for confirmation to a third term.

Murphy considered Valdes for attorney general last year, but she did not make the final short list.

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