LaChia L. Bradshaw was sworn in today as Burlington County Prosecutor during a groundbreaking ceremony marking the first time in the BCPO’s history that a person of color or a woman has taken the oath to oversee the agency for a full-length term.
After being nominated by Governor Murphy last month, Prosecutor Bradshaw emphasized that representation matters when it comes to prominent public positions such as those in the Prosecutor’s Office and the law enforcement profession.
A 20-year-veteran of the BCPO, who prior to taking the helm served as a Senior Assistant Prosecutor in the Major Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section, Prosecutor Bradshaw pledged to “encourage and inspire all people, and particularly people of color,” to consider working in the field and becoming as passionate about their careers as she is about her own.
Prosecutor Bradshaw continued the trailblazing spirit of her tenure by naming Brenda Román Maneri as the BCPO First Assistant Prosecutor. As with the position of Prosecutor, this is the first time the role of second in command has been held by a person of color or a woman.
“I am incredibly excited to have Brenda on board,” Prosecutor Bradshaw said. “The knowledge, experience and skill set she brings will be invaluable to assisting me in bringing my vision for this office to fruition.”
A first-generation Colombian-American, Maneri spent a decade as a Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor after graduating from the Rutgers Camden School of Law. She has been in private practice the last several years and is the current president of the Burlington County Bar Association.
Maneri said she is honored to join Prosecutor Bradshaw in leading the office and is thrilled by the diversity now reflected in the positions they hold.
“This day is long overdue,” she said. “As a team, we will do great things for the Burlington County criminal justice system. Along with the judiciary and defense bar, I look forward to ensuring that the citizens of Burlington County are treated with fairness and respect.”
Prosecutor Bradshaw and First Assistant Prosecutor Maneri were sworn in at the courthouse in Mount Holly by the Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, A.J.S.C.
Judge Covert also administered the oath of office to Patrick J. Thornton, who was chosen by Prosecutor Bradshaw to serve as the BCPO Chief of Detectives.
Chief Thornton, a Burlington County native, is a former captain with the New Jersey State Police who came to the Prosecutor’s Office in 2020 and previously served as chief of staff.
Prosecutor Bradshaw, who earned her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, replaces Scott Coffina, who returned to the private sector following a five-year term.