Announcement Comes in Light of Gov. Murphy’s Notice of Intent to Nominate DCJ Director Veronica Allende to Superior Court Judgeship
For Further Information:
TRENTON — Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that he has appointed Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo as the next Director of the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), effective July 12. The announcement comes in light of Governor Murphy’s notice of intent to nominate current DCJ Director Veronica Allende to a Superior Court judgeship.
Ruotolo has served as Acting Union County Prosecutor since 2019, when she was appointed to the position by Attorney General Grewal. During her tenure, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office launched an innovative new program – known as the “Intelligence-Drive Prosecution Unit” – that uses the latest technology to identify violent criminal organizations, including street gangs and hate groups. In addition, under Acting Prosecutor Ruotolo’s leadership, Union County launched a first-in-the-state county-wide program to use police body-worn camera footage as a training tool to improve officer performance.
Before she was appointed to her current position, Ruotolo served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, where she prosecuted violent crimes, gang violence, carjackings, and sex crimes.
“Lyndsay is the perfect person to direct our Division of Criminal Justice,” said Attorney General Grewal. “She’s a tough, experienced prosecutor who isn’t afraid to hold wrongdoers accountable for their misconduct. But she also recognizes that, as prosecutors, our ultimate responsibility is not to obtain the greatest number of convictions or seek the longest possible sentences, but to ensure that justice is done in each and every case. I know that she will bring the same energy and sense of mission to the Division that she brought to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.”
“I am so grateful to the General, and honored to have this incredible opportunity to serve the residents of our state in this role,” said Ruotolo. “I look forward to working not only with the dedicated public servants within the Division of Criminal Justice, but also my colleagues in the County Prosecutor’s Offices and law enforcement agencies across the state, to further General Grewal’s vision for a safe and just New Jersey.”
Since becoming DCJ Director in April 2018, Director Allende has overseen a number of significant prosecutions, including Operation Open House, Operation Zombie, and Operation West End. During her tenure, DCJ played a leading role in a number of Attorney General Grewal’s priorities, including the creation of a statewide officer resiliency program and the launch of a clergy abuse task force.
“It’s no surprise that Governor Murphy recognized Veronica’s talent and decided to nominate her for a judgeship,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I am confident that she will bring the same thoroughness and thoughtfulness to the Superior Court that she brought to the Division, and I am delighted that Veronica continues the proud tradition of our Department’s attorneys joining the bench.”
Director Allende will continue in her current position until July 12, 2021 or her confirmation by the state senate, whichever comes first. In the interim, Director Allende will recuse from all criminal matters handled by DCJ and will delegate decision-making responsibility on such matters to Deputy Director Annemarie Taggart.
# # #