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Essex County Welcomes Theodore N. Stephens, II as Officially Appointed Prosecutor


By: Richard L. Smith 

Theodore N. Stephens, II was officially sworn in as Essex County Prosecutor in a ceremony officiated by Superior Court Judge Mark Ali, marking the beginning of his five-year term in this pivotal role.AdAccording to a statement released by Essex County Prosecutor's Office Spokesman Robert Florida, Stephens, who has been acting as Essex Prosecutor since September 2018 following an appointment by Governor Phil Murphy, received unanimous approval from the New Jersey Senate on February 12, 2024, after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination on February 8.

Governor Murphy praised Stephens for his dedicated service over the past five and a half years, highlighting his legal expertise, passion for community service, and unwavering commitment to justice.

With this confirmation, Stephens is set to continue leading the Essex County Prosecutor's Office (ECPO), the state's busiest, overseeing its approximately 400 employees and managing a caseload that included over 12,000 cases in 2023 alone.

Following Stephens's confirmation, Spokesman Florida said all assistant prosecutors and investigators at ECPO, who had been serving in acting capacities, were also formally re-sworn.

This included Mitchell McGuire, who was sworn in as Chief of Detectives, and Romesh Sukhdeo, confirmed as First Assistant Prosecutor.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin commended Stephens for his outstanding public service record, expressing confidence in his ability to confront the challenges of law enforcement and continue efforts to combat gun violence in Essex County.

A resident of East Orange, Spokesman Florida, said Stephens is recognized for his approach to law enforcement that emphasizes community partnership.

He has been instrumental in expanding Operation Helping Hand, a program aimed at helping individuals with opioid addictions access treatment and counseling, thereby addressing the cycle of addiction and potential incarceration.

Beyond criminal justice, Stephens is committed to community engagement, from organizing food drives to participating in health events and educational initiatives.

He strongly believes in mentoring young people and fostering interest in law enforcement careers through ECPO's extensive internship programs.

Stephens's multidisciplinary approach to criminal justice focuses on balancing firm prosecution with diversionary programs for nonviolent offenders, aiming to achieve justice in each case based on the facts and evidence.AdReflecting on the impact of his office, Stephens shared heartfelt testimonials from crime victims and their families, emphasizing the gratitude and sense of justice they feel thanks to the efforts of the ECPO team.

With a career that spans various legal and judicial roles, Stephens's appointment as Essex County Prosecutor is a continuation of his lifelong dedication to serving the people of New Jersey.

Congratulations from all of us here at RLS Media.