By John Burton
FREEHOLD – There have been some changes at the top of Monmouth County’s lead law enforcement office.
In a little less than two weeks the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office has seen its top man step down to accept a judgeship and the office’s first assistant step up to become the acting prosecutor.
The state Senate has confirmed Gov. Chris Christie’s appointment of Peter Warshaw Jr. to serve on the state Superior Court bench.
State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa has named Christopher Gramiccioni, who was Warshaw’s first assistant prosecutor, to be the county’s acting prosecutor.
Warshaw, 50, a Middletown resident, is a career prosecutor who started with the office in 1986, heading up a number of divisions and also served as first assistant under his predecessor. Christie nominated Warshaw as prosecutor in November 2010 and the Senate confirmed him in January 2011.
With his confirmation to the bench, Warshaw retired from the prosecutor’s office and is expected to start next month. Gramiccioni was sworn in July 1.
Gramiccioni, 40, lives in Wall with his wife Deborah and their three children. Deborah Gramiccioni works for the Christie Administration as deputy chief of staff for policy and cabinet liaison.
Before starting with the prosecutor’s office in February 2011, Gramiccioni worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey for nine years, most of those under then-U.S. Attorney Christie.
Earlier in his career Gramiccioni was a U.S. Naval officer, where he worked as a prosecutor and defense counsel for the Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG). He went on from the Navy to become a special assistant U.S. attorney in Puerto Rico and also worked as an appellate government counsel in Washington, D.C.
“I understand the importance of duty and responsibility,” he said.
The new acting prosecutor is the highest non-elected law enforcement official in the county, overseeing an office of 350, including 55 prosecutors and 79 detectives. “My priority is to expeditiously investigate and prosecute, where appropriate, the cases the county gives us and to prosecute them in the most fair and just manner.”
Asked if he would be named to fill the slot for its full five-year term, Gramiccioni declined to speculate and referred that question to the governor’s office, saying instead, “I’m lucky to have this job. I really take seriously the definition of a public servant and I want the public to know I will give it my full attention.”
Christie has not yet announced his nomination for Monmouth County prosecutor. Any nomination would have to be presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the nomination gets committee approval, it is then forwarded to the full Senate for a vote.
The governor’s press office did not return a call seeking comment.