Atlantic County, NJ prosecutor resigns amid scandal (Opinion)
HARRY HURLEY EXCLUSIVE
We have learned and confirmed that Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner has resigned his position, effective 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
This is a very significant moment in that the prosecutor is the chief law enforcement officer in Atlantic County.
We have obtained a complete true copy of Tyner’s official letter of resignation that he has sent to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, dated today and it takes effect at 9:00 a.m.
The complete letter is below.
I spoke with Tyner several hours ago, who is proud of his public service. His five-year term as Atlantic County prosecutor did not expire until March 2022.
In his letter of resignation, Tyner cryptically remarks about the toll that he and his family have paid over the past 4 1/2 years in office.
“I have long said that there is a private cost to public service. My family and I have certainly paid that debt,” wrote Tyner.
Tyner had just led the largest drug bust in Atlantic County history last week.
Tyner is also pleased with his agency’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd phenomenon.
Tyner has been under professional and personal attack for his entire term in office, with several employees currently suing Tyner and Atlantic County government.
These legal contests will continue. Several well placed sources advised that we should expect multiple taxpayer/insurance settlements coming in the not too distant future,
Under Tyner’s “watch,” he also reopened and solved the April Kauffman murder case, which had gone ice cold for many years under former Atlantic County Prosector James McClain.
Upon taking office, Tyner aggressively led a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement collaboration which breathed new life into the investigation which had basically stopped under McClain.
McClain was a patient and friend of the late Dr. James Kauffman.
Many, myself included, strongly believed that McClain had a significant conflict of interest and should have recused himself and moved the case.
McClain left his prosecutor position to accept a Superior Court judgeship.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie nominated Tyner roughly 4 1/2 years ago. Tyner was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate 40-0.
Murphy's office on Tuesday acknowledged Tyner's resignation in a statement to New Jersey 101.5.
"We thank Damon Tyner for his service to Atlantic County and the State of New Jersey, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," a spokesman said.
There no doubt will be a lot of gossip over the days ahead about why Tyner resigned his position and why now. I will leave that gossip to others in all of their petty glory and gloating.
This much I do know … Damon Tyner is a good man. He loved his job and I know that he’s devastated about leaving it today.
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