NEW BRUNSWICK - A Superior Court judge who was criminally charged with hindering apprehension of her fugitive boyfriend - only to have those charges later dropped - now faces claims from the state Supreme Court's Conduct Committee for allegedly violating judicial codes of conduct.
Judge Carlia Brady “demonstrated an inability to conform her conduct to the high standards expected of judges,” the state Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct stated in a complaint filed last week.
Carlia, who lives in Woodbridge and serves in the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, “impugned the integrity of the judiciary,” and attempted to use the "power and prestige of her judicial office to advance her private interests,” the complaint states.
Brady’s lawyer, Timothy R. Smith, said in a statement that Brady is “honest to a fault,” and that he expects to her to continue her rise as a judge.
“We are confident that when the esteemed members of the [advisory] committee become fully versed in the salient facts, Judge Brady will resume her status as a rising and shining star within the New Jersey judiciary,” Smith said.
“She is honest to a fault and lives her life by one creed - always do the right thing. The circumstances surrounding her unlawful arrest should enhance, not diminish, her value as a judge in that she can now personally relate to the plight of the oppressed,” Smith said.
Brady was arrested in 2013 after failing to notify Woodbridge police that her boyfriend, Jason Prontnicki, who was wanted for the robbery of an Old Bridge Township pharmacy, was at her home.
Police said Brady first reported her car was missing after Prontnicki took it and loaned it to another person, authorities said. Subsequently Brady failed to notify police twice when Prontnicki came to her home, authorities said.
Brady was charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution. A grand jury later indicted her on a charge of official misconduct. A judge later dismissed the misconduct charge.
After Prontnicki refused to testify against Brady on the grounds that he would incriminate himself, prosecutors dropped the hindering charge.
Last week, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct filed a complaint accusing Brady of four violations of the state Code of Judicial Conduct.
According to the complaint, when Woodbridge arrested Brady on the hindering charge, she told an officer to remove the handcuffs. The advisory board said she then attempted to use her official position for her personal interests.
A hearing into the Code of Conduct charges could result in dismissal of the case, but the committee may also take corrective action - ranging from a private letter of reprimand or censure, to a recommendation that the Supreme Court order a public reprimand or a suspension. The committee could also directly initiate proceedings for removal from the bench.