Judge Shay to be Next Prosecutor

Samuel M Shay - 1928-01-31

Camden Courier-Post – January 31, 1928

Camden Trenton Bureau

Trenton, Jan. 31 – The name of Judge Samuel M. Shay, of the Camden County Court of Common Pleas, has been handed to Governor Moore as the choice of the Camden Democratic organization for prosecutor, succeeding Ethan Wescott.

The name was submitted to Governor Moore last night by a delegation of Camden Democrats, headed by Edward J. Kelleher.

That Governor Moore will send the nomination to the State Senate appears certain, and it not likely that any serious objection will be raised in that body, inasmuch as Judge Shay's reputation is of the highest and he has been twice before confirmed for the judgeship by the Senate.

Sees Drastic Changes

The choice of Judge Shay was a big surprise in state Democratic ranks, and started a flurry of speculation. If Judge Shay is appointed to the prosecutorship it will leave a vacancy on the bench of the Court of Common Pleas. Although the Camden Democrats are said to be a unit in supporting Shay and also on the other changes they contemplate, no definite word leaked out as to who will be Shay's successor on the bench.

Judge Shay's appointment as prosecutor, it was said by Camden Democrats who were here last night, mean drastic changes to the personnel of the Camden Prosecutor's office. One of the rumors in effect is that District Court Judge Frank F. Neutze will be elevated to the County judgeship and that Prosecutor Wescott will succeed Neutze. It is also rumored that Judge Shay's present post may go to either former Judge William T. Boyle or former Judge William C. French. Both Boyle and French formerly held the county judgeship position.

Another rumor is that Samuel P. Orlando will be named first assistant prosecutor and that either Francis G. Homan or Lawrence Gregorio, the incumbent will be named second assistant prosecutor.

The names at former Police Judge John T. Cleary and Assistant Prosecutor Joseph A. Varbalow also figure in the rumor. Cleary has been mentioned as first assistant prosecutor several times.

Term is 5 Years

Judge Shay is now serving his second term as Judge. He was reappointed for a five-year tenure of office last March. The term of the prosecutor's office also is five years.

The proposed changes are said to be steps toward a complete reorganization of the Democratic party In South Jersey.

State Senator Joseph H. Forsyth, whose 'O. K.' is necessary before the appointment of Judge Shay could become official, under the "Senatorial courtesy rule" would not comment on the situation here today.

Interviewed in the Senate Chamber prior to the opening of today's session, Senator Forsyth refused to admit that Governor Moore had sent for him last night and had discussed the appointment of Judge Shay. Forsyth’s answer, however, indicated that he had been in conference with the Governor on the subject last night.

"I have not made up my mind as to my attitude on the nomination of Judge Shay," Senator Forsyth said. "I want to take up the matter with the Governor first. I do not think it would be proper to give my decision to the newspapers before I discuss the matter with the Governor."

Headed by Assistant Prosecutor Lawrence Gregorio, County Detective Frank Cocchilaraley and Justice of the Peace Jack O'Grady, a delegation of Camden Democrats were scheduled to arrive in Trenton this afternoon for a conference with Governor Moore in the interest of Prosecutor Wescott.

O'Grady stated he will present letters from the Bricklayers and Ironworkers Unions urging the reappointment of Wescott. Cocchiaraley is heading a group of South Camden Italians who are also favoring the reappointment of Wescott.


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