Prosecutor Richard T. Burke to join Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced the appointment of James L. Pfeiffer as Acting Warren County Prosecutor effective November 1.
Pfeiffer will replace Prosecutor Richard T. Burke, who has served as Warren County Prosecutor since March 30, 2012. Prosecutor Burke will be taking a position as an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
“James Pfeiffer is a talented and dedicated attorney who is committed to working for the people of Warren County,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am confident that Acting Prosecutor Pfeiffer will play an important role in working toward a criminal justice system that treats everyone fairly and impartially.”
“Jim Pfeiffer has deep roots in Warren County, where he grew up and where he has had a very distinguished legal career. His three decades in private practice have included extensive work as both a criminal defense attorney and a municipal prosecutor, and he previously served as a judge in New Jersey Superior Court,” said Attorney General Grewal. “With his vast legal knowledge and experience, as well as his commitment to the county, Jim Pfeiffer will be an outstanding leader for the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.”
“I am deeply honored to be appointed Acting Warren County Prosecutor,” said Pfeiffer. “As a child growing up in a working-class home in Alpha Borough, I could not have imagined that I might one day serve in this leadership role in my home county. I pledge that I will make the most of this opportunity to serve the people of Warren County and to advance the dual goals of justice and public safety.”
Pfeiffer is a founding partner of the law firm of Pfeiffer Bruno, a general practice law firm based in Phillipsburg, N.J., and Easton, Pa., that handles personal injury matters, criminal defense, municipal law, land use law, and estate planning, among other areas of practice. From 2005 through 2007, Pfeiffer served as a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court in Vicinage 13, including Warren, Hunterdon, and Somerset Counties, before returning to private practice.
As a defense attorney, Pfeiffer has represented high-profile defendants, including Patricia Rorrer, a defendant who was tried for capital murder in Lehigh County, Pa. It was the first time that mitochondrial DNA was used in a criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania. Rorrer avoided the death penalty. In his municipal practice in Warren County, Pfeiffer served as township attorney for Greenwich Township for six years, and served as labor and tax attorney for Greenwich for the past four years. He also served as municipal prosecutor for Greenwich, Phillipsburg, Allamuchy, Knowlton, Blairstown, Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, and Franklin.
Pfeiffer received his Bachelor’s Degree from Kutztown University in 1982, and received his Juris Doctor Degree from Western Michigan University, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, in 1986.
Prior to being nominated and confirmed as Warren County Prosecutor in 2012, Burke was in private law practice for nearly 30 years, handling a variety of litigation matters in state and municipal court. He also served as planning board attorney for the Town of Belvidere and as municipal prosecutor for a number of municipalities in Warren County.
Burke is taking a position as an Assistant Attorney General in OPIA. OPIA handles all public integrity matters within the AG’s Office and includes a team of experienced prosecutors and detectives from the Division of Criminal Justice and New Jersey State Police. OPIA reports directly to the Attorney General to ensure the independence of sensitive investigations. OPIA investigates and prosecutes criminal abuses of the public trust and handles other sensitive matters that implicate the public’s confidence in government and the criminal justice system, including sensitive matters involving federal, state, or local officials; allegations of civil rights violations involving law enforcement officers and agencies; internal affairs investigations; and wrongful conviction claims.
“I commend Prosecutor Burke for his excellent leadership as county prosecutor, which included, among other accomplishments, the development of critical initiatives to improve community outreach and to prepare law enforcement, schools, and residents in Warren County to deal with active shooter situations and other emergencies,” said Attorney General Grewal. “I know that he will be a tremendous asset to our Office of Public Integrity and Accountability.”