MAYS LANDING — Republican Sheriff Joseph “Tokyo Joe” O’Donoghue was sworn in Tuesday at the Atlantic County Commissioners Reorganization Meeting.
“I am humbled. I am appreciative. I will work with all of the police agencies to bring safety back,” said O’Donoghue. “We cannot be divided by race, religion or political preference.”
Also sworn in were Republican commissioners John W. Risley and Andrew Parker III who were reelected and newly elected Republican commissioner June Byrnes.
The courtroom was filled with law enforcement officers, family, and friends of those taking the oath of office.
Atlantic City Police Chief James Sarkos said he welcomes the opportunity to work with O’Donoghue.
“I’ve known Joe for a long time,” said Sarkos. “We have a good network of chiefs in Atlantic County and we’re all looking forward to working with the sheriff.”
O’Donoghue, who was sworn in by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Blee, defeated longtime Democrat Eric Sheffler. O’Donoghue garnered 52.67 % of the votes to Sheffler’s 47.33 %.
Parker was sworn in by State. Sen. Vince Polistina, R-Atlantic.
“I won’t give a speech. I’ll just say thank you all,” Parker said.
Following the meeting he said the commissioners have some important issues to deal with this year including making improvements at the Atlantic County Jail, examining employee contracts, and spurring additional economic development.
Brynes was sworn in by Assemblywoman Claire Swift.
“This is such a perfect day,” said Swift. “We did very well in Atlantic County.”
The commissioners also approved the temporary 2024 budget. The county has authorization to spend up to $100,984,875. 42 by March 31, according to Atlantic County Treasurer Bonnie Lindaw.
“By statute we approve 26.25% of the last year’s final budget,” Lindaw said.
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