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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Prosecutor’s Office Misused State Funds, Attorney General Alleges

Three days after James Pfeiffer abruptly resigned as Warren County prosecutor April 5 and state Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced he would be taking over the office, the New Jersey Office of Public Integrity and Accountability released a report outlining alleged misuse of an Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor grant reimbursement and other violations. 

In addition to the misuse of the grant reimbursement, the report alleged interference with the investigation itself by Pfeiffer and members of his office. 

The payments had been distributed to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office as reimbursement for salaries and benefits for employees named to state Attorney General’s Office assignments. The report alleges the prosecutor’s office misrepresented the hours worked by members assigned to the grant for the purpose of increasing the office’s general operating budget.

Pfeiffer told WFMZ Monday night that he could not yet respond to the report because the attorney general’s office had not yet given him a complete report with all the attachments.

“I deny any wrongdoing, and this report is inaccurate,” Pfeiffer told WFMZ.

Anthony Picione, a native of Lopatcong Township, was named acting Warren County prosecutor by Platkin April 5, shortly after Pfeiffer’s resignation. 

In a statement at the time of Pfeiffer’s resignation, Platkin gave no reason for the takeover. But a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office later told news outlets that the resignation came as a result of an investigation into misconduct by members of the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office by the state Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and that the findings of that investigation would be made public at an appropriate time. 

The Attorney General’s Office will be deciding what, if any, further action should be taken, the report indicated.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.