Camelia M. Valdes is the Passaic County Prosecutor. When Ms. Valdes was appointed on May 16, 2009 by Governor Jon S. Corzine and confirmed by the New Jersey State Legislature, she became the first Latina county prosecutor in the State of New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States. Governor Chris Christie re-appointed Ms. Valdes to a second term on June 26, 2015. As the chief law enforcement official in Passaic County, Ms. Valdes is responsible for the management of approximately 185 assistant prosecutors, detectives, victim advocates and support staff, a $20 million office budget and the oversight of 16 municipal police departments, the police departments of William Paterson and Montclair State Universities and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.
Ms. Valdes is a career prosecutor. She served as a Municipal Prosecutor in the City of Newark, a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, an Assistant Governor’s Counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. Her experience has ranged from investigating and prosecuting municipal offenses to complex federal crimes that included human trafficking, health care fraud, financial offenses, and violent crimes.
Ms. Valdes is extensively involved in criminal law policy, bar associations, and community service work. The Hispanic National Bar Association named Ms. Valdes the 2016 Latina Lawyer of the Year.
Born to Dominican parents in the Bronx and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Ms. Valdes is a product of the Newark Public Schools. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Seton Hall University in 1993, her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1996 and her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in May 2001. As the proud mother of two beautiful autistic girls, Isabela and Elsa, ages 14 and 12, Ms. Valdes endeavors to raise awareness about autism.