Camelia M. Valdes
Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes
On May 16, 2009, Governor Jon S. Corzine made history in the State of New Jersey when he nominated Camelia M. Valdes as the Passaic County Prosecutor. When Ms. Valdes was confirmed by the Legislature on June 26, 2009, she became the first Latina county prosecutor in the State of New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States. Currently, she is the youngest sitting County Prosecutor in the State of New Jersey. As prosecutor, Ms. Valdes is responsible for the management of approximately 200 office employees, a $17.5 million office budget and the oversight of 16 municipal police departments, the police departments of William Paterson and Montclair State Universities and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.
Ms. Valdes has dedicated her professional career to government service and public safety. She served as Municipal Prosecutor in the City of Newark, a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the federal District of New Jersey. Her wide prosecutorial experience ranged from investigating and prosecuting municipal offenses to complex federal crimes that included human trafficking, health care fraud, financial offenses, and violent crimes.
Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Ms. Valdes served as an Assistant Counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. During that time, she handled all aspects of criminal legislation and initiatives. While at the Governor’s Office, two of her proudest accomplishments included working on the legislation that created the New Jersey Drug Courts and the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry.
Ms. Valdes is active in bar associations, community service organizations and parent advocacy. She was the 25th President of Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and a former board of trustee member of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. As the proud mother of two beautiful autistic girls, ages 7 and 5, Ms. Valdes takes every opportunity to raise awareness about autism and special needs education.
Born to Dominican parents in the Bronx, New York and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Ms. Valdes is a product of the Newark Public Schools. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Seton Hall University in 1993, her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1996 and her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in May 2001.
In October 2011, Hispanic Business Magazine named Ms. Valdes one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States. In December 2011, Honorable Leonel Fernandez, President of the Dominican Republic, named Ms. Valdes one of the 100 Most Influential Dominicans Living Abroad.
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