Author

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.

Scrutiny of Murphy A.G. pick focuses on his response to a rape claim

By: - February 4, 2022

Several Republican lawmakers have objected to Gov. Phil Murphy’s pick for attorney general, largely because of the nominee’s role in the bungled investigation of a woman’s claim that a Murphy gubernatorial campaign staffer raped her after a campaign party. Matt Platkin was Murphy’s chief counsel when Katie Brennan alerted him and other Murphy administration officials […]

For some lawmakers, end of legislative career means start of new public post

By: - February 4, 2022

Most folks who quit or get canned from a job may spend weeks or months sending out resumes, networking, and otherwise trying to reach the next step in their career. Not so for politicians who leave the New Jersey Legislature. Legislators who get shown the door often find it’s a revolving door and leverage their legislative […]

Murphy names former chief counsel as attorney general pick

By: - February 3, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy has nominated Matt Platkin, his former chief counsel and a New Jersey native, to become the state’s next attorney general. Platkin will oversee 7,700 state troopers, lawyers, and other staff in the Department of Law and Public Safety. If his nomination is approved, Platkin would replace acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck, who […]

Fueled by faith, new Assemblyman vows to ‘keep God first’

By: - February 2, 2022

The Rev. Reginald W. Atkins’ roots in religion run deep. In Newark, where he grew up, he bought a bar and turned it into a church, becoming its senior pastor at age 28. He met his wife, Cynthia, at church, and the couple gave their three children, now grown, names plucked from the Hebrew Bible. […]

In cop killer’s case, top court weighs recidivism fears against redemption

By: - January 31, 2022

At 85, Sundiata Acoli is a sick old man and an obedient prison inmate, his hearing fading as quickly as dementia takes hold, his supporters say. But Acoli is also a convicted cop killer whose words can’t be trusted and who could commit more crimes — at least in the eyes of the New Jersey […]

New federal funding for beach replenishment reignites old debate

By: - January 31, 2022

Bulldozers on the beach and distant barges dredging sand up from the ocean floor are as much of a Jersey Shore staple as sea gulls, Snooki, and Kohr’s custard cones. They’re around most winters to replenish the sand that storms wash out to sea every year. To John Weber, a local leader of the national […]

Legal weed sales stalled, as regulators say they await proof of municipal buy-in

By: - January 27, 2022

When voters opted to legalize marijuana in New Jersey in November 2020, insiders expected the pot-loving public would be able to buy recreational weed right around now. But at the monthly meeting of the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission Thursday, the man overseeing the industry’s creation in New Jersey said the state is still far from commercial […]

Ex-municipal judge accused of groping denies ‘malice’

By: - January 26, 2022

A former municipal court judge suspended and criminally charged two years ago with molesting a woman in his law office testified during a disciplinary hearing Wednesday that the contact was accidental and embarrassing — and not the intentional groping the woman tearfully described. The woman told the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct she visited ex-Judge […]

Unions fight N.J. vaccine mandate for prison and jail staff

By: - January 25, 2022

Unions representing state and county correctional officers are fighting a recent state mandate requiring them to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and Tuesday a state judge allowed their battle to advance in court. The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association on Monday asked the state Superior Court’s appellate division for permission to apply for a […]

N.J.’s top court upholds state ban on racial profiling in new ruling

By: - January 25, 2022

Police officers investigating crimes can’t stop a car merely because its occupants match the race and gender of a suspect, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday in an opinion upholding state prohibitions on racial profiling. The state’s top court tossed the conviction of one man — and upheld the vacated sentence of another […]

Bill would allow cash incentives to diversify police recruits

By: - January 24, 2022

State officials have tried all sorts of things to make New Jersey’s mostly white, mostly male police departments better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, from creating minority mentorship programs to mandating police forces take action to fix underrepresentation. Now, one state legislator wants to pay people to find the state more cops of […]

Affordability and taxes top agenda for new legislator from South Jersey

By: - January 21, 2022

Beth Sawyer doesn’t need any data-packed reports or alarm-sounding researchers to know New Jersey’s high taxes have chased people out of the state. She’s helped them move. As a real estate broker in South Jersey for 27 years, Sawyer has been at the table as a parade of longtime New Jersey homeowners sign the sales […]