Murray appointed acting prosecutor

SUSSEX COUNTY. Annmarie Taggart is set to retire as acting prosecutor effective Dec. 1.

| 15 Nov 2023 | 01:33

Carolyn Murray will serve as acting Sussex County prosecutor, replacing Annmarie Taggart, who is set to retire as acting prosecutor effective Dec. 1, state Attorney General Matthew Platkin said Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Since April 2019, Murray, a former Family Court judge and former state and federal prosecutor, has served as the inaugural director of the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) within the state Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).

“Carolyn Murray has dedicated her professional life to the pursuit of justice, and her esteemed career has spanned many facets of the legal profession,” Platkin said.

“Since April 2019, she has led the first statewide conviction review unit in the nation to be based in an Attorney General’s Office - an office that rights past wrongs and serves to strengthen our collective faith in our criminal justice system. I am honored to appoint her to serve as acting county prosecutor for Sussex County.

“Carolyn has held leadership positions in our office as well as in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, including a six-year tenure as acting Essex County prosecutor. I am grateful that she has agreed to fill this critical law enforcement leadership role.”

He added, “I am also thankful for Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart, who has provided steadfast leadership to the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office. As a career prosecutor in the Division of Criminal Justice and as acting prosecutor for both Somerset and Sussex counties, Annmarie has honorably served the people of New Jersey for the entirety of her career, and we are all grateful for her service.”

Murray said she was honored that Platkin asked her to serve as acting prosecutor.

“Working with my CRU colleagues to establish the Conviction Review Unit over the past four years has been a wonderful opportunity to gain new insight into seeking justice. I consider myself so fortunate to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of New Jersey as acting Sussex County prosecutor.”

She was nominated and confirmed as Superior Court judge in 2017. Previously, she served in multiple roles at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

In 2003, she was counsel to the acting prosecutor and, a year later, became first assistant prosecutor. Starting in 2011, she served as acting Essex County prosecutor until her appointment as a Superior Court judge.

In 1995, Murray joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where she tried criminal cases and served as violent crime coordinator. In 2002, she was named chief of the Public Protection Unit.

She began her career with the law firm Tompkins, McGuire & Wachenfeld in Newark. She graduated from Georgetown University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

Taggart has served as acting Sussex County prosecutor since July 2022. She was acting Somerset County prosecutor from April 2022 to July 2022.

Before that, she served for 24 years in the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety, holding various positions including deputy director.