Murphy names picks to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission; Prol to serve as chair

Tom Prol, Ryan Peters, Norma Evans and Jon-Henry Barr have been appointed to serve as commissioners on the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, or ELEC, according to a Thursday announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy.

Prol, who was the first openly gay president of the New Jersey State Bar Association, has been selected by the Murphy to serve as chair.

The commission, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, monitors campaign financing in New Jersey elections and oversees filing obligations for lobbyists and their clients, among other responsibilities.

“The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission plays an important role in protecting the integrity of our elections and the fairness of our democratic process, and, today, I’m pleased to appoint four highly qualified members to lead the commission,” Murphy said. “These members bring a variety of backgrounds and perspectives — including experience in private legal practice, as state and municipal prosecutors, and in elected office.”

“The integrity of elections is a vital and sacrosanct component of a free and fair democracy,” Prol said. “I am honored that Gov. Murphy has appointed me as chair of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, and I commit to engaging the important work ahead with fairness, honesty and respect for the dignity of all. Our representative government requires adherence to the rule of law and due process and I look forward to implementing the commission’s mandate with the guidance of those bedrock democratic principles.”

Prol is a member of the governing body of the American Bar Association and is a past president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He practices business and litigation strategy with a focus on environmental, land use and redevelopment law as a partner at Sills Cummis & Gross.

Throughout his legal career, Prol has been a vocal advocate on issues of equity and access to justice. He co-drafted New Jersey’s marriage equality legislation that was signed into law in 2022. He was an advocate for, and successfully argued the defense of, the New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act and the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Act.

As a founding and current executive board member of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest LGBTQ+ education and advocacy organization, Prol has championed civil rights for over two decades. He previously served as vice chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now known as the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association) and as a director of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.

Prol currently serves as general counsel to the Municipal Clerks’ Association of New Jersey and special environmental counsel to the County of Sussex and its municipal utilities authority. He is also a former partner at Laddey, Clark & Ryan LLP and Cleary, Giacobbe, Alfieri & Jacobs LLC, worked as a solo practitioner, and served as associate general counsel and agency chief contracting officer for New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs.

Prol is also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, teaching on constitutional issues related to gender and sexual orientation. He previously taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at New York Law School. He is a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Legal Education and numerous county bar associations, and is an expert in parliamentary procedure, having served as the NJSBA parliamentarian for a decade.

He was recently named to ROI-NJ’s leading figures in New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ community list.