MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Robert J. Carroll, a Roseland attorney who has been serving as Director of the Law Department at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, was sworn in during a Morristown ceremony Wednesday to serve as Acting Morris County Prosecutor.
“The only thing left to do is to get to work, and I hope we can all make a difference and maybe settle some of the issues that exist between law enforcement and communities, and I pledge to work hard on all of them,” said Carroll in a closing speech after he was sworn into office at the Morris County Administration and Records Building.
Retired New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice James R. Zazzali, who knew Carroll’s family and the acting prosecutor since he was six years old, provided the oath of office.
“Bob will make a great prosecutor, in a great office,” said Zazzali, who was New Jersey’s Attorney General when Carroll was just a young deputy in that office more than 30 years ago.
Carroll had served as Chief of the state’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Task Force. During his tenure as a deputy attorney general, his unit achieved an unprecedented number of convictions of major mob figures, including investigating and convicting the notorious “Iceman” killer of New Jersey, Richard Kuklinski.
He is replacing retiring Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, who left office yesterday and will formally retire Nov. 1.
Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that he plans to formally nominate Carroll to the post, which requires a confirmation process before the state Senate Judiciary Committee and a vote by the full state Senate. In the meantime, Carroll will lead the office as a special state Deputy Attorney General.
“I’m deeply honored by this appointment,” Carroll said, thanking the Governor and the leadership at the state Office of the Attorney General.
He also praised Knapp, who he has known since both had worked as deputy attorneys general almost 40 years ago.
“He is leaving me a team, a solid team of professionals and operations that is going to really aid in my commencement of my term,” Carroll said.
Knapp was in the audience with many top members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, including First Assistant Thomas Zelante and Chief of Investigations Christoph Kimker, who also were sworn into office today. Other Morris County officials attending included Freeholder Director Deborah Smith, Sheriff James Gannon, state Senators Anthony Bucco and Richard Codey, County Administrator John Bonanni, and Surrogate Heather Darling.
Carroll was previously a partner at Michael & Carroll, P.C., a law firm based in Point Pleasant. Prior to this, he served in an array of consulting and leadership positions in the gaming industry.
Carroll was touted by the Governor for his many years of legal service in the private and public sector inside New Jersey and beyond. He was active in assisting Native American Tribes in developing governmental infrastructures and commercial projects, and served as Chairman of the Tribal Gaming Commission for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana.
As Massachusetts commenced a new gaming industry, he led a team of seasoned investigators that helped to successfully launch the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Carroll also held several other positions representing New Jersey labor unions, as well as major corporations and Tribes in the gaming industry.
Carroll also has extensive experience working with county prosecutors, having served as Acting Prosecutor in Sussex County, as well as an investigator, and later as an Assistant Prosecutor at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
A resident of Roseland, Carroll received a Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University where he was a scholarship football player. He holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law.