TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney issued the following statement on the passing today of Peter J. Barnes, Jr., who had a diverse and admirable career of public service, including serving as an MP in the United States Army, 26 years as a Special Agent for the FBI, as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, as chairman of the State Parole Board, and as the Director of Public Safety for Edison Township and East Brunswick Township:
“With the passing of Peter Barnes, we have lost one of the most honorable and accomplished public servants in our lifetime. Peter was a real gentleman who embodied all the best qualities of a law enforcement officer and supervisor, as an elected official and as a husband, father, grandfather and friend.
“He was a man of decency and integrity who treated everyone with equal measures of respect and who, in turn, earned the respect and the admiration of everyone who knew him. Peter had a soft-spoken demeanor, but he possessed a rock-solid commitment to the enduring values of honesty and selfless service.
“Peter would never boast about himself, but he had a remarkable career of public service. From serving his country in the armed services to a distinguished career as an FBI agent investigating bank robberies, white-collar crime and national security, to representing his home community in the Legislature, to directing the work of the Parole Board and overseeing the public safety operations in both Edison and East Brunswick, he set an example of selfless leadership that will be part of his legacy.
“My sincere condolences to Barbara, Peter’s devoted wife and partner of 64 years, and to his four children and 10 grandchildren, including his son Peter J. Barnes III, who succeeded his father in the State Assembly before becoming a State Senator and Superior Court judge, and to his grandson Jack Barnes who serves on the staff of the Senate Democratic Majority. I know that Peter was as proud of his family as they are of him. We all share in your loss but we are better for our time with him.”