History

Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

On February 15, 1850, with approximately 10,000 residents, Ocean County was officially recognized as a County. Prior to its formation, the municipalities south of the Manasquan River – Brick, Toms River, Jackson, Plumsted, Stafford, and Union (now known as Barnegat) – were all part of Monmouth County. Today, 33 independent municipalities make up what we know to be Ocean County.

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Covering 638-square miles, including 45-miles of pristine white-sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean County is the second largest county in the State, with approximately 586,000 residents. As a popular tourist destination, Ocean County sees an influx of residents and visitors during the summer months.

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In New Jersey, the County Prosecutor is appointed to a five year term by the Governor with the consent of the New Jersey State Senate. The County Prosecutor’s Office is unique in that in addition to prosecuting cases referred by the various local police departments within the County, the Prosecutor’s Office has its own investigative staff. The investigative staff is charged with the detection, investigation and arrests of alleged violators of the criminal laws, while the legal staff is responsible for representing the interests of the State of New Jersey in the prosecution of the accused in the criminal courts.

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When Ocean County was formed in 1850, there were no attorneys who resided locally. As such, Governor Daniel Haines appointed Jehu Patterson of Middletown (Monmouth County) to be the first Ocean County Prosecutor. From 1850 to 1976, the position of Ocean County Prosecutor was a part-time job. In 1976, Governor Brendan Byrne appointed Edward J. Turnbach as the first full time Prosecutor of Ocean County.

Prosecutors through the years

1800’s

Jehu Patterson 1850 – 1853
Francis J. Speer 1853 – 1863
William A. Masker 1863 – 1867
Albert C. Martin 1867 – 1872
Thomas W. Middleton 1872 – 1897

1900’s

Theodore J.R. Brown 1897 – 1912
Harry G. Newman 1912 – 1917
Richard C. Plumer 1917 – 1922
Wilfred H. Jayne, Jr. 1922 – 1927
James Mercer Davis 1927 – 1933
Leo Robbins 1933 – 1944
Robert Lederer 1944 – 1959
Howard Ewart 1959 – 1962
William H. Huber 1962 – 1967
Robert H. Doherty 1967 – 1970
Martin B. Anton 1971 – 1976
Edward J. Turnbach 1976 – 1987
James W. Holzapfel 1987 – 1992
Daniel J. Carluccio 1992 – 1997

2000’s

David Millard 1997 – 2002
Thomas F. Kelaher 2002 – 2007
Marlene Lynch Ford 2007 – 2013
Joseph D. Coronato 2013 – 2018
Bradley D. Billhimer 2018 – Present