Kenneth Connolly, a 1980’s Republican operative, became Executive Director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee after managing Ralph Salerno’s unsuccessful bid to oust then-Senate President Carmen Orechio in 1983. An protege of Andrew Consovoy, who was a top aide to Governor Thomas Kean, Connolly managed James Courter’s 1989 gubernatorial campaign. He later went to work for the state Parole Board, where Consovoy was a Commissioner before a scandal forced his own resignation.
Now Connolly is the plaintiff in a high profile lawsuit against the state. Connolly claims he objected to the release of reputed mobster Angelo Prisco, and was punished (transferred to a job at the state prison in Newark) for being a whisteblower. He claims the Governor’s office ordered Prisco’s release, and former Governor James E. McGreevey has been subpoenaed to testify.