Acting Prosecutor Knapp Announces Ceremony to Commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office will recognize 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 21-27) with a Recognition and Remembrance Ceremony. The ceremony, honoring victims and advocates of victims’ rights, will take place on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 12:00 noon in front of the County Administration and Records Building on Court Street in Morristown.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been a time of national remembrance since 1981, an opportunity for communities, victims and their loved ones, and professionals serving victims to join together and reflect on the progress achieved in victims’ rights. The theme for 2013 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “New Challenges * New Solutions”.

Thirty years ago, crime victims did not have rights, access to crime victim compensation, or services to help rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing. Today, all states have enacted crime victims’ rights laws and established crime victims’ compensation funds.

Acting Prosecutor Knapp is proud of the outstanding team of capable and dedicated professionals in the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office who assist victims of crime and advocate on their behalf.

All are invited to join the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at the ceremony. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Community Affairs Unit at 973-285-6268 or e-mail [email protected].

Any inquiries regarding this press release can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Morris County Gun Buyback Amnesty Program Press Conference

A Press Conference was held this morning at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy regarding the Gun Buyback Amnesty Program which occurred this past Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, 2013. A Fact Sheet and photographs from the event are included with this release.

After the Press Conference Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp stated, “I am extremely pleased with the results of the Gun Buyback Amnesty Program. A great deal of effort went into this event. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and its partners took 600 potentially dangerous firearms off the streets of Morris County.”

Acting Prosecutor Knapp continued to state, “I would personally like to thank Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa for his leadership and support with regard to our program. The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and our partners are extremely gratified that the Attorney General has taken such an interest in this issue.”

Morris County Chief of Investigations William Schievella added, “This operation demonstrated, once again, the great success that can be achieved when law enforcement agencies act in collaboration with each other in their continuing efforts to protect the citizens of Morris County,”

Once again, Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morris County CrimeStoppers Commissioners, the Morris County Park Police, the Madison Police Department, Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, St. Paul Inside the Walls, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Morristown Police Department, the Florham Park Police Department, the Morris Plains Police Department and the Morris Area Clergy Council.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].

Woman Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Theft

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announced today that the Honorable Robert Gilson, J.S.C. sentenced Kathleen Lawes, 47 years old, of Kenvil (Roxbury Township), New Jersey to 3 years in State Prison in connection with the theft of over $123,000 from a law firm where she was previously employed.

On February 1, 2013, Lawes pled guilty to Second Degree Theft.

The defendant had been employed at the law firm since 1981. From September 24, 2009 to January 10, 2012, in her capacity as legal assistant/secretary for the firm, the defendant stole over $123,000 for her personal use. The money was stolen from the attorney trust account of the firm and used for her personal benefit. As the firm’s bookkeeper, she covered up the theft for three years until her actions were discovered in 2012 by members of the firm.

Judge Gilson sentenced Lawes to 3 years in New Jersey State Prison. The defendant was ordered to pay restitution to the law firm in the amount of $3,500 and $122,874.12 to CNA Insurance.

Assistant Prosecutor Brian DiGiacomo represented the State at the sentencing.

Acting Morris County Prosecutor Knapp thanked Police Chief James Simonetti and the Roxbury Township Police Department and the Assistant Prosecutors and Investigators from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office for the efforts resulting in today’s sentence.

Any inquiries can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].