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Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes ’96 Is MSP Banquet Honoree

March 05, 2014 – 

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, Rutgers School of Law–Newark will celebrate the 46th anniversary of its Minority Student Program (MSP) at Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville. Camelia M. Valdes ’96, Passaic County Prosecutor, is the honoree and keynote speaker. At the time of her swearing in, Valdes became the first Latina county prosecutor in New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States.

Camelia Valdes
Camelia Valdes ’96

The 2014 MSP banquet is dedicated to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The event also will honor the memory of 3L MSP student Kwazi Mendoza, who died in a car accident in January, and recognize Elvirra Gallashaw, who retired in 2013, for her long-time service to the MSP.

The reception will begin at 6:30 pm and the dinner at 7:30 pm.

Register for the banquet and submit payment online at http://www.law.newark.rutgers.edu/MSPBnqt14.

Prosecutor Valdes has dedicated her professional career to government service. She was municipal prosecutor for the City of Newark, a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served as an Assistant Counsel to Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco. Among her notable accomplishments while at the Governor’s Office was her work on the bills that created the New Jersey Drug Courts and the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry.

As Passaic County Prosecutor, Valdes is responsible for a $19.2 million office budget and the oversight of 16 municipal police departments, William Paterson and Montclair State Universities and the Passaic County Sherriff’s Department.  

The Minority Student Program is a nationally-recognized model for educating and preparing students of color and disadvantaged students of all races for a legal career. Almost 3,000 MSP students have graduated from the law school since the program’s inception, changing the face of the legal profession. MSP alumni can be found on the bench, in the U.S. Congress, in private practice, major corporations, government agencies, legislative bodies, public interest organizations and academic institutions across the country.