Mercer County Prosecutor Announces Office Promotions

mercer county prosecutor
:  Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri is joined by his new Chief of County Detectives Tracey McKeown (far left), First Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie A. Katz (center right) and Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Amy Devenny (far right).

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri recently announced the promotions of three members of his executive staff, including the first female chief of detectives in Mercer County history.

Following the May 1 retirements of First Assistant Prosecutor Doris M. Galuchie and Chief of County Detectives Veldon Harris, Prosecutor Onofri welcomed First Assistant Prosecutor Stephanie A. Katz, Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Amy Devenny and Chief Tracey McKeown in promotion ceremonies earlier this month.

“These three women are consummate professionals,” Onofri said.  “They bring an abundance of knowledge and experience to the table, and I look forward to working with them in order to provide a better quality of life in Mercer County.”

Katz began her career with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in 1996 after completing a clerkship for Judge Paulette Sapp Peterson.  After spending five years with the prosecutor’s office, Katz was engaged in private practice handling public finance matters for the law firm of McManimon and Scotland, LLC, before returning to the MCPO in 2004.  She has worked in the Juvenile Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Trial Team Unit, Special Victims Unit, Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Unit, Homicide Unit and Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and has served as a trial team leader, chief of the PSN Unit, chief of the Domestic Violence Unit and chief of the Special Investigations Unit.  While serving as chief of SIU, Katz, along with Assistant Prosecutor John Boyle and Lt. Eric Hastings, prosecuted the only racketeering case handled by the MCPO in recent memory.  As deputy first assistant prosecutor, Katz has been instrumental in both developing bail reform protocols and teaching the new process to the many police departments in Mercer County.  

Devenny began her career at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in 1999 after completing a clerkship for Judge Andrew J. Smithson.  She has since worked in many units throughout the office, including Juvenile, Grand Jury, Trial Team, Domestic Violence, Special Victims and Internal Affairs, and has been a valued member of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.  Devenny has tried several homicides to conviction, including her most recent trial in 2018 where the defendant was convicted of murder for shooting an innocent victim on his 29th birthday in Trenton.  She has also served as the chief of the Juvenile Unit, chief of the Domestic Violence Unit, a trial team leader, and head of Internal Affairs.  Devenny was also instrumental in the implementation of bail reform and currently serves on the officer-involved shooting team.  She has run the office intern program for years, which has allowed her to mentor hundreds of young lawyers, many of whom were later hired as assistant prosecutors in the office.   Devenny was promoted to chief of Trial Teams in 2015 and in 2016 she was named as executive assistant prosecutor.

Captain Tracey McKeown was promoted to chief of county detectives, becoming the first female chief in Mercer County history.  She joined the prosecutor’s office in 1990 and has worked in the Grand Jury, Child Abuse and Sexual Assault, and Economic Crime units.  McKeown has supervised the Grand Jury, Juvenile, Arson, Special Victims, Domestic Violence, Megan’s Law, Cyber Crimes, Trial, Evidence, Identification, and Internal Affairs units and has served as the co-coordinator of the Child Abduction Response Team.

During her career, McKeown has been honored with the Cherish the Child Award for Outstanding Service, the New Jersey Child Assault Prevention Award for Law Enforcement and the PBA #339 Merit Award.

Also promoted were Lieutenants Tarek Elkachouty and James Francis to captain; Sergeants Bryan Cottrell, Eric Hastings and Gary Wasko to lieutenant; and Detectives Joseph Paglione, Kevin Searing and Ryan Woodhead to sergeant.

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.