TRENTON – In the aftermath of the Senate Democrats’ rejection today of the nomination of a Morris County prosecutor, there was disagreement over what practical effect the vote had.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. said after the vote that Fredric Knapp, appointed acting county prosecutor last week, can still show up and do his job Friday.
But Judiciary Chair Sen. Nicholas Scutari said Knapp “is not the Morris County prosecutor.”
Kean, Sen. Kevin O’Toole and other Republicans reacted in anger when the Senate took Knapp’s nomination from the committee hearing stage and vaulted it onto the Senate floor for an immediate vote. The majority party then rejected Knapp’s nomination.
Gov. Chris Christie last week, tired of waiting for the Democrats to hear the nomination, had him named acting prosecutor.
In an impromptu press conference after the vote, Kean said the Democrats were “drunk with power,’’ and senators said they have been abusing the advice and consent process in order to hold up Christie’s nominees.
But Scutari and Senate President Steve Sweeney said it was Christie who abused power by bypassing the Judiciary Committee in having Knapp made an acting county prosecutor.