First Assistant Prosecutor, James O. Tansey

On July 13, 2021, James O. Tansey was sworn in as First Assistant Prosecutor in the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and Harvey Barnwell as Chief of County Detectives. First Assistant Tansey started with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office in 2001. Mr. Tansey attended law school late in life after having been a New York City Police Officer and a successful business owner. Mr. Tansey eventually retired from the office after 15 years of service but was happy to return as First Assistant when the position was offered by Prosecutor Daniel

Before his retirement, First Assistant Tansey held numerous positions within the office. He started in 2001 in the Appellate Unit and from there followed the normal progression at that time through Juvenile, Megan’s Law Unit, the Trial Team, and the Narcotics Strike Force. While working at NSF, Tansey supervised numerous organized crime and narcotics investigations. He oversaw complicated wiretap investigations and subsequently prosecuted the first case in New Jersey where traditional organized crime was joining forces with street gang soldiers to distribute oxycontin. Tansey assisted in prosecuting that case in Federal Court.

First Assistant Tansey was eventually promoted to supervisor of the Insurance Fraud Unit as well as the Special Prosecutions Unit. While supervising these units, Tansey prosecuted large scale Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases, police misconduct cases, cases involving politicians and public figures, and other white-collar criminal activity. In addition, while supervising the Special Prosecutions Unit, Tansey had the privilege of being the legal advisor to the Essex Union Auto Theft Task Force. While holding that title, First Assistant Tansey was the legal advisor to the television show Jacked, being responsible for reviewing every episode and approving the content before the series was released.

First Assistant Tansey is the recipient of numerous awards for his work in law enforcement, from both his time as a police officer and an assistant prosecutor for which he is humbled and proud but his greatest joy in life is derived from having watched his three children Bridget, Owen, and Grace grow into responsible contributing members of society who have inherited his penchant for public service.