A Florham Park attorney was nominated by the governor Thursday to succeed Robert A. Bianchi as Morris County Prosecutor.
Gov. Chris Christie nominated Fredric Knapp, a special counsel to Morris County, member of the Randolph Township Republican Committee and a partner in the Florham Park firm of Knapp, Trimboli & Prusinowski, to replace Bianchi.
The state Senate will now decide whether to confirm Knapp to succeed Bianchi, a Democrat whose term ends on June 22 after being appointed in 2007 by Gov. Jon Corzine.
"I am happy for Fred. I personally know the exhilaration of being appointed to such a wonderful position in government," Bianchi said in a prepared statement.
"He is a nice man and I will do everything needed to ensure an orderly transition of this office. I love my staff and respect them tremendously. They have tirelessly worked to resolve daunting trial backlogs of many serious and violent offenders. We have instituted novel and highly effective intelligence led policing strategies that have led to arrests of gang members, significant drug dealers, and violent offenders at a magnitude that has never been seen before in this county."
Bianchi last weekend called the recent "the largest in Morris County history."
In a statement released Friday by Capt. Jeffrey Paul, a spokesman for Bianchi who is also leaving the prosecutor's office later this year, Bianchi touted the decline in crime and cost to taxpayers over the past five years.
"We have enjoyed a 12.83 percent crime decrease in five years, with last year having the largest crime decrease in the state," Bianchi said. "We have saved the county taxpayers over $5 million over the past five years with the elimination of bloated positions and have watched every dime spent as if it were our own."
Bianchi also took pride in the conviction of Jose Feliciano, who was found guilty last year of murdering Chatham's Rev. Edward Hinds.
"I even had the honor and privilege to have rolled up my sleeves and tried the murder case of Father Ed Hinds, which to me was one of the greatest honors of my career," Bianchi said.
"In all, I have been blessed to have had this opportunity and am thankful to all that made my appointment possible, and to all of those from both parties that fought so hard for my reappointment. It has been an honor to have served and I have worked tirelessly at a job that I will always love and cherish."