Murphy Announces Appointments to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission

Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8).

 

Governor Phil Murphy today announced his appointments of Tom Prol, Ryan Peters, Norma Evans, and Jon-Henry Barr to serve as Commissioners on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). Prol, who was the first openly gay President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, has been selected by the Governor to serve as the Chair. The Commission, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, monitors campaign financing in New Jersey elections and oversees filing obligations for lobbyists and their clients, among other responsibilities.

“The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission plays an important role in protecting the integrity of our elections and the fairness of our democratic process, and today I’m pleased to appoint four highly qualified members to lead the Commission,” said Murphy. “These members bring a variety of backgrounds and perspectives — including experience in private legal practice, as state and municipal prosecutors, and in elected office. I’m also pleased to designate Tom Prol to serve as ELEC Chair, a highly-respected and trailblazing attorney who made history by becoming the first openly LGBTQ President of the New Jersey State Bar Association.”

“The integrity of elections is a vital and sacrosanct component of a free and fair democracy,” said incoming ELEC Chairman and Commissioner Tom Prol. “I am honored that Governor Murphy has appointed me as Chair of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, and I commit to engaging the important work ahead with fairness, honesty, and respect for the dignity of all. Our representative government requires adherence to the rule of law and due process and I look forward to implementing the Commission’s mandate with the guidance of those bedrock democratic principles.”

“I am extremely honored to be appointed by the Governor as a Commissioner of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission,” said incoming ELEC Commissioner Ryan Peters. “It is a privilege to serve this State, and I am grateful to once again have that opportunity. I look forward to working alongside my fellow commissioners, continuing my commitment to public service, and protecting the integrity of our elections with transparent and fair enforcement of the law.”

“I consider it a great honor to be selected to serve on the Election Law Enforcement Commission,” said incoming ELEC Commissioner Norma Evans. “As a career public servant, I am committed to vigilantly maintaining the integrity of campaign finances and other election matters, as well as providing transparency to the citizens of the State of New Jersey. I am proud to continue the important work of the Commission. I sincerely thank Governor Phil Murphy for this esteemed opportunity.”

“My life’s work has been a commitment to justice,” said incoming ELEC Commissioner Jon-Henry Barr. “I can think of no better way to serve the people of New Jersey than with the enforcement of our election laws. I am extraordinarily honored and grateful that the Governor has entrusted me with this appointment, and I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with my fellow commissioners.”

 

Tom Prol is a member of the governing body of the American Bar Association and is a past President of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), serving as the first openly gay leader in the nearly 125-year history of the NJSBA.  He practices business and litigation strategy with a focus on environmental, land use, and redevelopment law as a Partner at Sills Cummis & Gross, P.C.

Throughout his legal career, Prol has been a vocal advocate on issues of equity and access to justice. He co-drafted New Jersey’s marriage equality legislation that was signed into law by the Governor on January 10, 2022. He was an advocate for, and successfully argued the defense of, the New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act and the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Act. As a founding and current Executive Board member of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest LGBTQ education and advocacy organization, Prol has championed civil rights for over two decades. He previously served as Vice Chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now known as the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association) and as a Director of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.

Prol currently serves as General Counsel to the Municipal Clerks’ Association of New Jersey and Special Environmental Counsel to the County of Sussex and its municipal utilities authority. He is also a former Partner at Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP and Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs, LLC, worked as a solo practitioner, and served as Associate General Counsel and Agency Chief Contracting Officer for New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

Prior to practicing law, Prol was an environmental scientist and enforcement officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and served for two years as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal. Prol has also held externships with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, CNN, and The Carter Presidential Center.

Prol is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, teaching on constitutional issues related to gender and sexual orientation. He previously taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at New York Law School. He is a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Legal Education and numerous county bar associations, and is an expert in parliamentary procedure, having served as the NJSBA parliamentarian for a decade.

Prol earned his Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, and Masters of Public Health degrees from Emory University and his J.D. from New York Law School.

He resides in Asbury Park and his political party affiliation is with the Democratic Party. His preferred pronouns are He/Him/His.

For a headshot of Mr. Prol, please click here.

 

Ryan Peters previously served as an Assemblyman representing the 8th Legislative District of New Jersey, covering towns in Burlington, Camden, and Atlantic counties. He is also a former member of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders and attorney at Pepper Hamilton LLP.

Peters is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, earning a B.S. in Political Science and serving as Captain of the Division I Varsity Soccer Team. He earned a J.D. from the Rutgers University School of Law, where he served as President of the Student Bar Association and Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal. He is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at the Johnson College of Business at Cornell University.

Peters is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy. He completed four combat deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as a U.S. Navy SEAL. He is currently a Captain (select) in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Peters has been an active member of the South Jersey non-profit community. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Liberty USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey and a former member of the Advisory Board for Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County. He is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of New Jersey.

Peters lives in Hainesport and his political party affiliation is with the Republican Party.

For a headshot of Mr. Peters, please click here.

 

Norma R. Evans serves as a Public Information Liaison at the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. For nearly 20 years, she served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety, including roles as Special Counsel, Deputy Chief Counsel, and Training Coordinator. During this time, she served on the Sandy Fraud Task Force, Prosecutors Supervision and Training Bureau, Police Training Commission, and the Human Trafficking Task Force, among other assignments.

Prior to her service in the Office of the Attorney General, Evans served as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. She also worked as a Litigation Associate at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker and Rhoads LLP.

Evans is the former President of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, which she led from 2019 to 2020. She was also recognized as Professional Lawyer of the Year by the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Commission on Professionalism in the Law and received the Inspector General’s Integrity Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Evans earned her B.S. from Towson University and her J.D. from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University. She is a past representative on the International Committee of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of Bethel AME Church in Moorestown. She will be the first Black woman to serve as an ELEC Commissioner.

Evans lives in Marlton and her political party affiliation is with the Democratic Party.

For a headshot of Evans, please click here.

 

Jon-Henry “J.H.” Barr has served as the Chief Municipal Prosecutor in Clark Township for the past 22 years. He also manages his own private practice, Barr & Gulyas, LLC, a general practice law firm primarily handling civil and criminal litigation and workers compensation matters. He started his career as a Law Clerk to Superior Court Judge Paul F. Chaiet and as an Associate in the Law Offices of Robert B. Blackman.

For seven years, Barr served as Municipal Prosecutor in the Borough of Kenilworth. He is also a former Clark Township Councilman and served for a decade as an Emergency Medical Technician for the Clark Volunteer Emergency Squad. He is a past President of the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association and the Union County Bar Association.

Barr holds a B.A. in Government from Lehigh University and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law. He has served as Vice President of the Board of Education of Union County Vocational-Technical Schools for the past five years.

Barr lives in Clark and his political party affiliation is with the Republican Party.

For a headshot of Mr. Barr, please click here.

 

The Election Law Enforcement Commission was created on April 24, 1973, when Governor William Cahill signed into law the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act establishing the four-member commission. On May 4, 1973, the initial four members were sworn into office.

ELEC monitors campaign financing of elections in New Jersey and oversees the implementation and enforcement of laws including, but not limited to, the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act, the Gubernatorial Legislative Disclosure Statement Act, the Legislative and Governmental Process Activities Disclosures Act, and the Elections Transparency Act. The Commission also enforces disclosure requirements, establishes filing obligations for lobbyists and their clients, enforces various aspects of pay-to-play laws, and administers public financing of gubernatorial primaries and general elections, among other responsibilities.

Today’s appointments are Governor Murphy’s first appointments to ELEC since taking office. As a result, ELEC will have a full complement of commissioners for the first time since 2017.

In addition to today’s appointments, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order (EO) No. 333 clarifying requirements relating to political contributions by government contractors. To facilitate compliance for companies looking to contract with the State, the EO rescinds or supersedes provisions of several prior EOs that are either duplicative of or inconsistent with more recent statutes, including the Elections Transparency Act, or that have been set aside by the courts. The EO rescinds EO No. 134 (2004), issued by Governor McGreevey, and EO No. 7 (2010), issued by Governor Christie, and supersedes EO No. 117 (2008), issued by Governor Corzine.

For a copy of Executive Order No. 333, please click here.

 

 

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