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Morris County Stops Paying Ex-Prosecutor

Administrator John Bonnani notified Robert Bianchi of the policy change this week, report says.

Morris County Administrator John Bonnani notified former Prosecutor Robert Bianchi this week he no longer will receive a county paycheck, according to the Daily Record.

Bonnani told the newspaper the Attorney General's office advised in an email on Friday that Bianchi, a resident of Morris Plains, was not necessarily entitled to pay even though his successor has not yet been approved by the New Jersey Senate, contrary to the county's initial interpretation of the law. Bianchi was earning around $3,100 a week, the newspaper reported.

Bianchi was on the payroll for about a month after the Attorney General's office took over the Morris County Prosecutor's Office on Dec. 14 at Gov. Chris Christie's request.

The "supersession" effectively ousted Bianchi, a Democratic appointee whose five-year term was up in June, and installed attorney Fredric Knapp, a Republican, as acting prosecutor after the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee never considered Christie's nomination of Knapp. Democrats have said the takeover was shocking, and Bianchi has filed a lawsuit challenging the state's actions.

Knapp, a Randolph resident and founding partner of the law firm Knapp, Trimboli & Prusinowski in Florham Park, is Christie's pick to be the next county prosecutor. The New Jersey Senate voted down the nomination in December to make a statement, but the governor's office said the vote was "partisan theater" and Knapp would be renominated in the new year.

A post on the law firm's website dated Monday says it has dropped Knapp's name from the firm's name because of his new role:

On December 14, Fred Knapp, was sworn in as a Deputy Attorney General and placed in charge of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.  Fred’s nomination to become the Morris County Prosecutor was submitted to the New Jersey State Senate for a vote in June 2012; however, a vote was not taken at that time.  In December, the Governor’s Office superseded the holdover Prosecutor and placed Fred Knapp in charge of the office.

We are happy to see Fred succeed in obtaining this position and we wish him the best of luck in fulfilling the position’s duties.

As a result of Fred taking on this new position, the firm will now be known as Trimboli & Prusinowski, LLC.

The Stig January 16, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Now we see why the Dems moved so quickly to reject Knapp after sitting on his nomination for over half-a-year - They thought it would keep their political crony on the payroll. Christie should just keep re-submitting his name until the Senate acquiesces. In the meantime, he can serve as acting prosecutor indefinitely.
Sally Beck January 17, 2013 at 01:23 PM
What part of 'Your five year term was up in June' does Bianchi not understand? It's outrageous that he is still collecting a pay check.
Moira January 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM
I was actually starting to like Christie but it's bully crap like this that turns me off every time.
clyde donovan January 17, 2013 at 10:04 PM
It's about time the government stopped wasting our tax money paying someone $3,100 per week who was NOT the prosecutor.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk January 19, 2013 at 03:41 AM
come on guys it only other peoples money. And we know there is plenty of that.
The Stig February 08, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Bianchi finally throws in the towel - http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2013/02/bianchi_formally_resigns_as_pr.html#incart_river_default Now will the Dems in the legislature finally do the right thing and give the man a proper and fair hearing? Doubtful.

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