Phil Murphy’s New Ocean County Prosecutor Loses First Battle on the Job


TOMS RIVER-Bradley Billheimer is Governor Phil Murphy’s partisan replacement of Joseph Coronato for the role of Ocean County Prosecutor and we can only hope the former criminal defender can fight crime better than he can fight Facebook battles with his predecessor.

Last week, four days before Billheimer was to replace Coronato, Billheimer’s allies argued about the control of outgoing prosecutor’s personal Facebook page.  Coronato managed to amass 22,000 followers on Facebook through his page throughout his tenure.  Coronato used his Facebook page to allow residents of Ocean County a direct link to his office.

In the end, Coronato invoked his rights to keep his own personal Facebook page, similar to countless other politicians leaving public office, including former Governor Chris Christie and President Barrack Obama.  The Billheimer team argued that the posting made by Coronato during his tenure were public property.

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In an agreement to settle the disagreement, the outgoing prosecutor created a public archive of his personal page for the Billheimer team, which was still upset over losing the 22,000 Facebook likes.

Also on Friday, Billheimer’s allies in the department had removed Joseph Coronato’s signs and name from public spaces around the Hooper Avenue headquarters of the department.

Billheimer now has a new Facebook page which has 11 likes.   The Democrat will now have to rebuild his own audience, which was the case when Coronato initially assumed office and launched the first Facebook page by a sitting Ocean County Prosecutor.

Billheimer has yet to make any statements or hold any press conferences.  He has not yet announced who will replace DellaFave, but a politically aligned appointment is anticipated.

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