NJ Judge to Stay on the Bench After Beating Prosecution

TRENTON, N.J. (CN) — After prosecutors dropped criminal charges, a New Jersey judge who was accused of helping her boyfriend avoid arrest will get to stay on the bench.

The state Supreme Court took removal off the table Thursday in a 3-page order that says Superior Court Judge Carlia Brady must show cause on why she should not face some as yet determined lesser punishment.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey, at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton, NJ. (Photo via Google maps)

Brady took office in April 2013 upon her appointment by then-Governor Chris Christie, only to be suspended two months later after she was charged with harboring her then-boyfriend who was wanted for robbing a pharmacy with a crowbar.

Brady allegedly let her boyfriend, Jason Prontnicki, stay in her home and failed to call police to alert them that she knew where he was.

The charges against Brady, the state’s first Filipino-American Superior Court judge, were dropped after an appellate court found that Prontinicki could not be compelled to testify against her.

Despite the dropped charges and her reinstatement to the bench in 2018, the state panel on judicial conduct recommended Brady’s removal in September, prompting a hearing before the high court earlier this month.

Thursday’s order says Brady must appear on April 27 at a hearing to determine what discipline she will face.

Justices Jaynee LaVecchia, Lee Solomon and Anne Patterson joined Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on the order. Justices Barry Albin and Faustino Fernandez-Vina both dissented, however.

While Justice Fernandez-Vina said the court should have kept removal on the table, Justice Albin said he needed to hear more arguments.

Justice Walter Timpone did not partake in the hearing earlier this month, nor the order, as he briefly represented Brady as a defense lawyer before his appointment to the high court.

Protnicki is serving a 10-year prison sentence for armed robbery.

At the March 3 hearing before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Brady insisted she notified police of Prontnicki’s whereabouts in a timely manner but recognized she had made some mistakes.

Brady brought a September federal complaint against the Woodbridge Police Department for what she called a “five-year nightmare.” The suit, which is still pending, alleges that the department’s “witch hunt” found no evidence she had assisted Protnicki’s criminal activities.

Claiming false arrest and malicious prosecution, Brady also alleges that the department tampered with her voicemails and that police pressured her to plead guilty.

Brady’s seven-year term is up at the end of April. She has not been renominated for another term by Governor Phil Murphy.

Representatives for Brady did not immediately respond to email seeking comment.

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