By John Burton
FREEHOLD – A black robe may be in the near future for the Monmouth County prosecutor.
Listed among the slate of eight nominees Gov. Chris Christie had announced for appointments to the state Superior Court was Peter E. Warshaw Jr., a career prosecutor, who has been the county’s top prosecutor since January 2011.
Warshaw, 50, a Middletown resident, declined to comment when contacted.
He has been with the prosecutor’s office since 1986. Over the course of his career, he has been head of the office’s Environmental Crime Unit, and from 1995-2006 he was director of the Major Crimes Unit.
In 2006, Luis A. Valentin, then the county prosecutor, appointed Warshaw as the first assistant prosecutor, a post he held until Christie decided to not reappoint Valentin, a Democrat, as prosecutor for another five-year term. Christie then nominated Warshaw as prosecutor in November 2010, with the state Senate voting on Jan. 25, 2011, to confirm his appointment by consent.
He was sworn in on Jan. 31, 2011, taking over the position as the county’s highest ranking, non-elected law enforcement official, for an office that oversees approximately 15,000 cases annually, and has a staff of 50 lawyers, 80 detectives and support staff numbering more than 150.
Warshaw’s former colleague, Robert Honecker Jr., who had been the first assistant prior to Warshaw, offered his unequivocal endorsement. “Pete Warshaw will make an excellent judge,” Honecker said this week. “He is well-schooled in the law and has the perfect temperament to ensure justice in the courtroom.”
It remains uncertain how long it will take the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote on the nomination and then send it to the full Senate for final approval.