On January 8, 2015, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO) appealed a May 20, 2014 order by Judge Timothy G. Farrell holding that an administrative employee of the CCPO was entitled to a departmental hearing before being issued a written reprimand.

The matter involves CCPO employee Francine Hovermann who was disciplined for disclosing to co-workers that County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae purchased two vibrators at an upscale adult boutique in Philadelphia in January 2013.  Hovermann’s lawsuit is on-line here. The CCPO’s imposition of discipline against Hovermann is detailed in a November 14, 2013 South Jersey Times article on-line here.

According to the CCPO’s appeal filing, on-line here, Hovermann did receive a departmental hearing after Farrell issued his May 20, 2014 Order. Farrell’s order and reasons supporting it are on-line here.

The CCPO’s lawyer, Theodore E. Baker of Bridgeton, did not disclose the results of the hearing in court filings.  A December 8, 2014 Daily Journal article, however, reported that Cumberland County Personnel Director Craig Atkinson upheld Hovermann‘s reprimand and that Hovermann filed a second suit appealing that ruling. 

After Farrell confirmed on December 1, 2014 that Hovermann’s first lawsuit was complete at the trial level, the CCPO filed its appeal.  Hovermann is being represented by John P. Rowland of Little Egg Harbor.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]