CHICAGO (JGL) – The lawyer for Filipino American Superior Court Judge Carla Magpantay Brady argued, “an official cannot commit the crime of official misconduct while not acting as an official, that is, while in the role of a private citizen. Judges, who are not on duty, are not acting as judges.
“Even when a person who is a judge is sitting as a judge, that person is a judicial officer, not a law enforcement officer. Therefore, Judge Brady had no judicial duty to not stand by and to instead participate in an arrest.”
Timothy R. Smith, private defense lawyer for Judge Brady, in a press statement sent to Journal GlobaLinks, said, “This indictment is irresponsible and outrageous. The hindering apprehension counts are premised upon the false notion that it is a crime to not help the police capture a fugitive. Every case in the country, federal and state, that has discussed this issue, has rejected such an approach to the law.”
He said, authorities in Middlesex County in New Jersey, where these charges were generated, “have already been rebuked for procuring an unrelated previous indictment against one of our clients based upon this distorted rationale. Despite this, they attempt it yet again.”
Attorney Smith added, “Based upon these concepts, we will immediately move to dismiss all counts to the indictment. It is a very sad day for justice when indictments such as this one result not from the law, but from which side of the bed the prosecutor got up on in the morning.”
Brady, the first Philippine-born judge in a Superior Court in New Jersey, will appear in court for a status hearing on Aug. 14 to face charges of official misconduct.
Judge Brady waived her appearance during her arraignment last July 15 when her lawyer entered on her behalf a “not guilty” plea before Judge Kimari Rahill in Somerset County Superior Court in Somerville, New Jersey.
BRADY’S CO-ACCUSED DUE IN COURT AUG. 6
Her co-accused in a separate but related case, Jason Prontnicki, will be up in court for status hearing on August 6. Prontnicki is charged with robbery.
The clerk of court of Somerset County Superior Court told this reporter Brady is facing one count of official misconduct while it was reported that she is also facing additional two counts of hindering the apprehension of her then-boyfriend, Jason Prontnicki.
Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano was quoted as saying that the case was transferred to Somerset County by the state Office of the Attorney General because of Brady’s status as a Superior Court judge.
Soriano said the investigation found that on June 10 and 11, 2013, after being advised of an outstanding arrest warrant for Prontnicki, Brady allegedly concealed Prontnicki in her Woodbridge, New Jersey home for about an hour and “never making any attempt to contact law enforcement” and instead offered to help him obtain money, transportation or clothing as a means of avoiding arrest.
It was reported that an outstanding arrest warrant was issued in 2013 against Prontnicki, who was Brady’s boyfriend at the time. He was wanted in the armed robbery of a pharmacy in Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Prontnick allegedly “threatened the owner with a crowbar and demanded drugs.”
Brady was indicted by a grand jury on May 15 on two counts for hindering the apprehension of a fugitive and one count for official misconduct.
Brady’s lawyer sought to have the case dismissed and said his client should be reinstated to the bench.
Brady was named in 2013 judge to Vicinage (vicinity) 8 Superior Court in New Jersey covering Middlesex County. A Superior Court, also called trial court, handles cases involving criminal, civil and family law. There is a Superior Court in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. There are approximately 360 Superior Court trial judges in New Jersey. Her term is expected to end in 2020.
Brady, a resident of Woodbridge, N.J., was a litigation partner at the law firm Stark & Stark. She was born in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental in the Philippines and the family settled in New Jersey in 1976 when Brady was only six. Brady took up an undergraduate degree from Rutgers College and received Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Upon her arrest, Brady was suspended without pay from her $165,000-a-year salary job. She and Protnicki are out on bail on “ROR” (released on recognizance). She is also facing administrative charges.