Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.

Few surprises in sleepy lieutenant governor debate

By: - October 5, 2021

The first question at the only debate in the race for New Jersey lieutenant governor pretty much set the tone for the rest of the hourlong event Tuesday night at Rider University: Does this office you’re both seeking really need to exist? Moderator David Wildstein might as well have asked if the debate needed to exist: […]

Senate race pits veteran GOP leader against young Democratic mayor

By: - October 5, 2021

Voter disillusionment with politics often boils down to indistinguishability. This old white guy seems just like the other old white guy. Every candidate ever pledges to reduce taxes. And sure enough, the candidates battling for the open state Senate seat in the 21st District — which covers 16 municipalities in Morris, Somerset, and Union counties […]

With Bridgegate at center stage, race for humdrum Bergen County post heats up

By: - October 4, 2021

A county clerk is the unglamorous workhorse of local government, a keeper of records who is tasked with everything from processing passport applications to maintaining property deeds. In New Jersey, it’s an elected position that doesn’t typically make headlines or fill campaign coffers. But then Bridget Kelly is not your typical political candidate. “People tried to […]

Judge faces removal for her conduct in dispute with daughter’s school

By: - October 1, 2021

A New Jersey Superior Court judge in Union County inched closer to being booted off the bench, with the state Supreme Court on Thursday ordering her to answer why she shouldn’t be removed or disciplined for getting into a protracted dispute with her daughter’s school. The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct in May 2018 found Judge […]

Lawsuit challenges Atlantic City’s ban on safe-needle access

By: - September 29, 2021

The South Jersey AIDS Alliance has sued Atlantic City to block a new ordinance that bans syringe access effective Oct. 12. Three anonymous residents who use the city’s Oasis Drop-In Center for syringe access are also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in state Superior Court in Atlantic County. More than 1,200 people visited Oasis […]

N.J.’s top court strengthens consent standard in sex assault cases

By: - September 28, 2021

For years, sexual assault victims typically were treated like criminal defendants, forced to prove their innocence, until the Me Too movement in 2017 sparked systemic reforms and conversations about consent. Still, in a 2018 sexual assault case, a New Jersey appellate court used a legal standard that applies to criminal defendants to decide that a […]

New law aims to cut teacher shortages

By: - September 27, 2021

In an effort to reduce longstanding teacher shortages, Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law that will create new pathways to the classroom for would-be teachers who lack the proper credentials. Under the law, the state Department of Education will create a five-year pilot program in which officials will issue “limited certificates of eligibility” […]

Skyrocketing rates of anti-Asian hate show no signs of slowing

By: - September 24, 2021

Ritu Chandra is a stand-up comedian, so deft at delivering a punchline that she was on stage almost every weekend before the pandemic. So she’s comfortable being the center of attention. But the unwelcome attention of a stranger in her local park one recent summer morning has left her with lingering nightmares — and a […]

Judges can’t ignore jury verdicts in deciding sentencing, N.J.’s top court rules

By: - September 23, 2021

Judges cannot consider conduct defendants are acquitted of in deciding how to sentence them when they are found guilty of lesser offenses, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision issued Thursday. The ruling came in the consolidated appeal of two defendants who were tried in unrelated cases that left three people dead […]

State comptroller scolds Egg Harbor for selling water systems ‘in violation of law’

By: - September 23, 2021

Egg Harbor City failed to hire an independent financial adviser, as state law requires, in the sale of its water and wastewater systems, and instead improperly paid its municipal engineer to do the job, according to the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller. But the municipal engineer was far from independent: In 2018, in […]

Homelessness highest in Essex County, annual count finds

By: - September 21, 2021

Nearly 8,100 people experienced homelessness on a single January night this year in New Jersey, with nearly a quarter of them living in Essex County, according to a new report on the federally mandated annual enumeration known as the Point in Time Count. The numbers seem to show homelessness has decreased from last year, when […]

With little hope of winning, third-party candidates aim high anyway

By: - September 21, 2021

Brian Kulas is an engaged citizen, by any measure. Kulas has testified before the Legislature on everything from wage theft to the minimum wage to earned paid sick leave. He has given speeches beside lawmakers at bill signings. He was among the hundreds of people arrested in 2018 during Capitol protests and sit-ins before Brett […]