Mayor Fulop Creates Strongest Municipal Prosecutor’s Office in NJ, Enhancing Resources, Enforcing Laws, and Creating new Opportunities for Improved Quality of Life
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announces the reappointment of Jake Hudnut as the city’s Chief Municipal Prosecutor, citing Hudnut’s record of shaking things up, challenging norms, and building a progressive, problem-solving local prosecutor’s office. Hudnut was confirmed unanimously by the City Council to start his second year this week.
“In April, 2018, Chief Justice Rabner called on all New Jersey municipalities to build a fairer, stronger municipal court experience for residents. Jersey City answered the call and followed through by naming Jake as our chief prosecutor,” said Mayor Fulop. “We’re going to continue moving forward on this reform for our residents.”
When first nominated by Mayor Fulop in June 2018, Hudnut was no stranger to advocating for the rights of others, which he’s done from the start of his career as a court-appointed defense attorney. Under Jake’s leadership, Jersey City has built the strongest municipal prosecutor’s office in the state – from the first-in-the-state policy decriminalizing marijuana to knocking on doors of negligent property owners enforcing tenants’ rights- with more upcoming advancements in the pipeline.
“You can’t increase the integrity of municipal courts without allowing municipal prosecutors to exercise judgement and discretion,” Hudnut said. “And I credit Mayor Fulop. No other mayor in the state has stood so strongly beside a municipal prosecutor. Together we are transforming the statewide conversation on marijuana legalization from one purely about taxation revenue to one including social justice, racial equality, and local control.”
Hudnut continues to shake things up as chair of the Mayor’s Quality of Life Taskforce, which, under his leadership, focuses the power of interdepartmental code inspection and law enforcement on negligent property owners and businesses. The Taskforce has had noted success in compelling absentee landlords to make needed repairs for tenants.
“All low-level criminal offenses and code and ordinance violations are heard in the Municipal Court. These quality-of-life issues affect every residents on every block. By moving the ‘QOL’ Taskforce under Jake’s office, we ensured that he and staff are responsive to residents, law and code enforcement, victims of crime, and tenants that have nowhere else to turn,” says Mayor Fulop on the decision to reinvent the Taskforce.
“Everyone deserves a safe place to call home and clean neighborhood to live in. That is what the Taskforce – and the dozen City offices that comprise it – is fighting for every day,” Hudnut said.
Enhancements to the Municipal Prosecutors Office included modernization by increasing prosecutors’ accessibility to the public, including victims of crimes, and increasing online and by-mail disputes or payments of violations. The Office also partnered with the Office of Public Safety and the Jersey City Police Department to streamline discovery fulfillment and to establish permanent law enforcement presence in the Office to enhance enforcement, investigations, and warrant executions.
Jersey City’s Municipal Court also recently took the lead in the state over other courts in the number cases handled each month to address the issue of case volume throughout the court system, which is being addressed on the city level to handle each and every one of those cases with integrity, fairness, and a commitment to justice.
A monthly Victims of Crime Resource Day was recently been launched to provide a unique opportunity and access to representatives of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Compensation Office to assist victims of certain eligible crimes with resources on eligibility for possible compensation.