Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park returning to private sector

Acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park today is announcing her planned return to the private sector after more than four years of public service.

Park’s last day as Prosecutor will take place next Wednesday, September 13, after which she will become Deputy General Counsel and Chief Litigation Counsel for the energy company Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. (PSEG).

“Serving the citizens of Union County in this position has been a tremendous honor. The two parts of this job I will miss the most are the mission of the work and the amazing people who execute that mission,” Park said. “It has been extremely humbling to work alongside of them, day in and day out, with the goal of simply doing the right thing, every day.”

Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino today announced the appointment of Thomas K. Isenhour as acting Union County Prosecutor. Isenhour, a 33-year veteran of the Office, formerly served as First Assistant Prosecutor under Ms. Park.

The first Asian-American county prosecutor in New Jersey history and the first female and minority lead prosecutor in Union County’s 160-year history, Ms. Park was sworn in to office on June 17, 2013. As the chief law enforcement officer in Union County, she oversaw an office of approximately 250 employees and an approximately $22 million annual budget, coordinating the law enforcement efforts of more than 1,500 police officers in 21 municipal police departments, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and the Union County Police Department.

Park’s final day in office will coincide with the grand opening of the Union County Family Justice Center (FJC), marking the successful culmination of a vision through which she brought together more than a dozen partner organizations to establish a permanent location at which government and non-government services and resources will be made available to meet the diverse needs of victims of domestic violence. With on-site Prosecutor’s Office staff joining others in the newly constructed Union County Courthouse Cherry Street Annex, such services range from assistance in attaining housing to the provision of health and social services to preparation for court proceedings. The FJC is the third to open in New Jersey, following another in Essex County that opened in 2010 and the Morris County FJC, which opened last year.

Among Prosecutor Park’s other accomplishments in office was the rollout of what remains New Jersey’s most comprehensive county-funded, multi-department deployment of body-worn cameras (BWCs) to date, through which approximately $750,000 in Prosecutor’s Office forfeiture funding helped ensure that patrol officers in 16 of Union County’s 21 municipalities were outfitted with a total of approximately 800 devices as part of their uniforms by August 2016.

Under Ms. Park’s leadership, the Prosecutor’s Office’s Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force also made unprecedented strides in its efforts to target high-level drug traffickers and organizations operating in Union County during recent years. In 2015 and 2016, Task Force operations resulted in the seizure of a combined total of more than 28 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, marking the two largest single-year quantities of those drugs seized since at least 2008.

In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office during the last four years participated in more than 100 community events, with Ms. Park directly addressing citizens on matters ranging from the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic to transparency in law enforcement. The Office also forged cooperative relationships with the YWCA Union County and the Office of the Union County Executive Schools Superintendent and its affiliated public school districts; in both cases these agreements resulted in the joint hosting of two annual events: the Union County C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Awareness, Response, Education, Safety) Domestic Violence Symposium and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Forum for School Administrators.

Prior to her appointment as acting Prosecutor, Ms. Park had spent seven years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, prosecuting cases involving terrorism, narcotics, violent crime, healthcare and government fraud, and economic crimes. Her prior prosecutions include complex investigations of public and private companies as well as of individual defendants. More recently, Ms. Park managed civil litigation for the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer Inc. as Senior Corporate Counsel. In addition, Ms. Park was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLC in New York City. She also clerked for the Senior United States District Judge William H. Walls, sitting in Newark, New Jersey.

Ms. Park is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She is admitted to the bars of the State of New Jersey, State of New York, the Federal District Court of New Jersey, Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Supreme Court.