CREST HAVEN – James B. Arsenault, Cape May County counsel for the past five years, took his oath as a judge in the Workers' Compensation Court in Trenton Jan. 12.
Replacing Arsenault as acting County Counsel is Jeffrey Lindsay. A resolution affirming that action was unanimously passed Jan. 9 at the regular freeholders' meeting.
Director Gerald Thornton abstained from voting on that resolution since Lindsay is his stepson.
Arsenault's family had a long association with the county, Thornton said in remarks on the pending departure. His mother worked in the County Counsel's office, and his brother worked in the Probation Department.
"In the past 11-plus years Jim has been with us (as assistant county counsel when Barbara Bakley-Marino was counsel), and for the last five years since I've been the director, he has really been a solid advisor and confidant," said Thornton.
In his remarks to the board, Arsenault noted his time with the county since 2006 as the assistant and since 2014 as counsel was a "distinct professional privilege and honor."
He added the board was "the finest governing body I have experienced...it has been a singular opportunity and a wonderful experience. I thank you for the opportunity to do it."
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development website, "Judges of Compensation responsibilities include mediating and adjudicating workers’ compensation disputes and reviewing and approving all proposed settlements of formal claims.
"Judges of Compensation have the authority to make awards, require medical examinations and services for injured employees approve and fix attorneys’ fees and assess penalties where appropriate. Their rulings are binding and are appealable only to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court."