Acting Administrative Director, Judge Richard J. Williams, today announced a reorganization of the Administrative Office of the Courts that establishes a new Office of Professional and Governmental Services and redefines the responsibilities of the Office of Public Affairs.

Winnie Comfort has been named the AOC's Director of the Office of Public Affairs. Ms. Comfort, a resident of Lambertville, comes to the AOC with more than 20 years of governmental and press relations experience most recently in the Governor's Office of Communications. Immediately prior to that assignment, she served as the Director of Communications for the Department of Banking and Insurance. She has also served in various capacities in the Department of Human Services. She will assume the lead position in the AOC's Office of Public Affairs where she will be responsible for all press and media relations at the State and trial court level, as well as coordinating units within the Office handling constituent relations, publications, video production, as well as the Judiciary's Internet and Intranet initiatives.

Named to support these activities are Patricia Shukis Fraser, who is the new Acting Assistant Director for Publications and Constituent Relations and Antoinette McLaughlin, who is the new Acting Assistant Director for Internet Services.

Ms. Shukis Fraser, a resident of Atco, has served for the last 18 months as the Manager of Communication Services, overseeing the day to day operation of the office. Prior to that assignment, she was an Assistant to the Administrative Director. In her new role, she will be responsible for the production of the annual report, publications, informational videos, constituent relations and developing a speaker's bureau.

Ms. McLaughlin, a resident of Pitman, has, since 1994 served as the Special Assistant to the Administrative Director, responsible for a number of assignments including the development of the AOC's Internet program. In her new position, she will coordinate the development and expansion of the Internet initiative to include publication of court schedules, release of court opinions and public access for information.

David P. Anderson, Jr., from Lebanon, has, since 1996, been the AOC's Director of the Office of Public Affairs. He becomes the Director of the Office of Professional and Governmental Services. Prior to that assignment, he was the Assistant Director of Legislative and Liaison Services and has over 28 years of service in the Judiciary. In spinning off the press portion of his responsibilities, he is able to assume a coordination role of a number of interrelated operations within the Judiciary, in addition to his current responsibilities to oversee all relations with the Legislature, the Bar and the Governor's Office. These appointments are effective April 17, 2000.

Acting Administrative Director, Richard J. Williams said "this reorganization recognizes the Judiciary's commitment to the goals established in its Strategic Plan, among them improving the public trust and confidence in the Judiciary and maintaining the independence of the Judiciary while strengthening relations with the public, the bar and the other branches of government. The people appointed today have established a track record of accomplishments and success and will further the Judiciary's commitment toward these goals."

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