County politics still in play over Prosecutor choice

The AC Press ran this story about Corzine’s midnight appointments – shelling our patronage jobs and appointments to prominent Democrats as a reward for party loyalty. Even more telling, however, are the Democrats that pissed off party bosses and are now paying for it. Take, for instance, county prosecutor Ron Casella.  Casella has done a superb job; first without the necessary resources. Later, he reduced crime in the county after he had the resources, despite Lou Magazzu’s fight to ensure the prosecutors’ office did without the necessary manpower and resources.

Lou wants Casella down.  Why? Like many others, Casella dared to challenge Lou.  Instead, Lou wants to appoint a lawyer from a law firm that contributed heavily to the Democratic campaigns as well as to his NACo slush fund.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine nominated nearly 200 people to government posts Monday, but one of the most notable locally may be whom he did not nominate.

Corzine did not include a nomination for the post of Cumberland County prosecutor, which is currently held by Ron Casella, whose term expired in April 2008.

Most members of the all-Democrat Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders have called for a replacement. Local Democrats are backing Jennifer Webb-McRae, a Millville attorney and law partner of Arnie Robinson, whose firm has had numerous legal contracts with the county government.

Prominent county Republicans, as well as many prominent Democrats support Casella. Under Magazzu Casella had the lowest staffed and lowest funded prosecutors’ office in the state, despite Cumberland County having one of the highest crime rates. Lou did not care about the safety and well-being of the residents of the county. All Magazzu cared about was having more county money to siphon off to his political cronies, and every dollar that the prosecutors’ office got to fight crime was one less dollar Lou had to pay for – well, to pay for health benefits for part-time county employees given patronage jobs.

Casella won a court case and was able to expand much more than he was asking. All Ron wanted was an extra two employees. Lou adamantly refused to hire two people, and as a result it was Lou Magazzu and not Ron Casella that was ultimately responsible for the $12 million costs in expanding the prosecutors’ office. That expansion came by court order,and was not what Casella was looking for.

So now it is pay-back time, and Corzine is helping Lou in his personal vendetta against Casella, a Democrat that has the respect of most Republicans. Lou is pushing to reward a party supporter yet again.

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One Response to County politics still in play over Prosecutor choice

  1. Patrick Henry says:

    Only one of the present freeholders voted against Casella’s reappointment. The present board should have to vote.
    Is Lou protecting the new ones or is he afraid that they would vote to keep Ron?

    I think that is $12 million.

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