Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel has submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Chris Christie, Housel announced late Friday afternoon, June 29. Effective midnight July 1, James P. McClain will become the County Prosecutor.
Housel released the following statement on Friday:
“Under our State constitution it is for the Governor to appoint the County Prosecutor for a five-year term with the advice and consent of the Senate. Although the Senate has been unable to deal with the confirmation of a number of nominated County Prosecutors, it is my desire not to remain in holdover status, but rather to effectuate a smooth and efficient transition of leadership free from any specter of political rancor.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of Atlantic County for the past five years. I have enjoyed serving under Governors Corzine and Christie and I look forward to the next stage of my career.
“As I have stated earlier, I could not be more thrilled with Governor Christie’s choice to succeed me. To my First Assistant, I wish the best and I am confident that you will do an exemplarily job.
“I have endeavored to ensure the safety and well being of our citizens and this office has made excellent efforts to adopt new technologies and strategies in order to do so.
"We have gone far beyond our core function, which is the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters, in order to respond to emergencies of the streets of several local cities.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve and I look forward to serving others in my future endeavors.”
Housel was appointed by then-Governor Jon Corzine on June 27, 2007.
Christie nominated McClain to the position on June 7.
According to acpo.org, Housel graduated from Rutgers University-Camden with an A.B. with High Honors and Distinction in Political Science and earned his law degree, a J.D. with High Honors from Rutgers-Camden School of Law in 1978. He has served as an Assistant Proseuctor in Middlesex, Camden and Atlantic counties, and was First Assistant Prosecutor in Cape May County.
He has been a member of the American Bar Association, is a Trustee of the Criminal Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association, a member of the Atlantic County Bar Association and recently a member of the New Jersey Crime Victim Bar Association.
In his current position of First Assistant Prosecutor in Atlantic County, which he was appointed to on Oct. 1, 2010, McClain is responsible for various litigation and investigative functions within the office, according to acpo.org. McClain oversees the nvestigation and litigation of all cases of official misconduct and public corruption within the office.
He is in charge of legal staff and the hiring, firing, discipline and transfers of assistant prosecutors within the office.
He joined the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Appellate Section after his admission to the New Jersey Bar in 1983. From 1984-86, he was assigned to try cases, and from 1987-92, he was part of the Investigation Division.
He served as Chief Assistant Prosecutor from 1993-2010, where he tried cases that involved public and police corruption, white collar crime, the sexual and physical abuse of children, vehicular homicide and assault, bias crimes and environmental crimes. He argued cases before the Appellate Division, as well as the New Jersey Supreme Court, which recognized him as a Certified Criminal Trial Attorney beginning in 1996.