Just last Monday, Governor Chris Christie nominated Walter F. (Wally) Timpone to the State Supreme Court.Mr. Timpone has been a Commissioner on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) since his nomination and confirmation in 2010.
In the press release distributed by the Governor’s Office upon Mr. Timpone’s Supreme Court nomination, it was pointed out that “Walter F. Timpone is an accomplished former prosecutor, public servant, and lawyer.”
Having worked with Commissioner Timpone at ELEC since his appointment in 2010, I can attest to the fact that his previous service in the public sector and his skills as a lawyer have served the Commission well.
During that time, Commissioner Timpone has served the Commission and public in a most honorable way and has made a great contribution toward improving the Commission’s enforcement procedures.
His expertise as a former member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office has greatly aided the Commission’s efforts to eliminate a backlog in enforcement cases.
As has been noted in the recent spate of articles following the Timpone nomination, the Commission has been functioning with two commissioners, rather than the full complement of four.
Both Judge Lawrence Weiss and Judge Amos Saunders unfortunately passed away, which left the Commission short of a full complement.
Upon Commissioner Timpone’s ascension to the Supreme Court, and until new commissioners are appointed, Chairman Ronald DeFilippis will be the lone Commissioner.
While this situation is certainly not enviable, I want to disabuse people of the notion that the Commission will not be able to function or in any way carry on its business.
This is the farthest thing from the truth.
As will be demonstrated in future weeks, the Commission will carry on with much of its enforcement activity as well as its compliance efforts.
For example, every other Wednesday, the Commission publicly places on its website complaints and final decisions lodged against violators of the Campaign Act. During the past six months, ELEC released 75 complaints and 48 final decisions.
I urge both the press and the public to access this site for evidence that the work of the Commission will continue unabated.
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission has for years maintained the reputation as one of the best such agencies in the nation.
Temporary vacancies on the Commission will in no way undermine that reputation, as the public can be assured that the work of the Commission will continue and the sanctity of the electoral process will be protected.
Jeff Brindle is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. The opinions presented here are his own and not necessarily those of the Commission.