Governor Murphy is taking advantage of COVID-19 crisis

April 16, 2020

Contact: John Lyons 
Checkmate Strategies
[email protected]

Atlantic County Sheriff candidate criticizes Governor Phil Murphy’s mass release of convicted criminals under the guise of COVID-19

Egg Harbor Township, NJ – Atlantic County Sheriff Candidate Joe “Tokyo” O’Donoghue weighed-in today after a Tweet from Governor Phil Murphy where Murphy announced that through an executive order the Governor would be releasing convicted criminals from prisons in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.  The Governor’s tweet commented that “social distancing is extremely hard to accomplish in a prison setting.”

“As a career law enforcement officer who has dedicated his life to the rule of law and ensuring that criminals face justice, I’m disgusted.  The men and women of law enforcement in Atlantic County and across this state continue to put themselves at risk to maintain law and order in our communities.  More now than ever, with so much uncertainty the last thing we need are more criminals on our streets.” O’Donoghue said.

“The Governor’s reasoning that releasing inmates will somehow reduce the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons is ridiculous.  These prisoners are people who can’t follow the laws of our society, which is why they are in prison in the first place. Now we would expect them to just suddenly comply with not only the laws of our society but social distancing guidelines that are a challenge for folks who have never broken the law. Give me a break.” O’Donohue said.  

O’Donohue went on to add “There are practical ways to limit inmate contacts in prisons to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  We don’t hear the Governor or the Attorney General talking about the risks COVID-19 poses to guards and staff in our prisons.  That’s because they would rather speak for criminals, then the hard working men and women of law enforcement.” said O’Donoghue.

“It’s clear that Governor Murphy is taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to continue to implement his radical liberal agenda.  A democratic agenda which will weaken our justice system and put our families in danger with criminals free to roam the streets. We have to stop them.” O’Donoghue said. 

Joe “Tokyo” O’Donoghue brings with him a broad resume of experience as a law enforcement professional having most recently served as a Sergeant with the New Jersey State Superior Court system.  Prior to his assignment with the Courts O’Donoghue served 18 years with the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office. During his time as a law enforcement professional, O’Donoghue received numerous awards and commendations including the medal of valor.  In addition, O’Donoghue has held leadership positions in several police unions including PBA Locals 77 and 243 in Atlantic County. Law enforcement is a tradition in the O’Donoghue family with three of Joe’s children being sworn law enforcement officers serving in Atlantic County and a fourth that serves as an Officer with the New Jersey State Department of Corrections. Joe resides in Egg Harbor Township and is presently engaged to his longtime girlfriend Marie Ortiz.

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