NJ Judge Carlia Brady pleads ‘not guilty’ for hiding fugitive boyfriend in her home

Suspended New Jersey Judge Carlia Magpantay Brady pleaded not guilty for harboring her fugitive boyfriend who was wanted in an armed robbery in 2013.

Brady faces a possible jail time of five to 10 years for a charge Gov. Chris Christie has called “deplorable and frankly, stupid.”

The plea was entered on July 15 at Brady’s arraignment before Judge Kimarie Rahill in Somerset County Superior Court. Brady did not attend the arraignment because of a medical issue.

According to reports, an outstanding arrest warrant was issued in 2013 against Jason Prontnicki, who was Brady’s boyfriend at the time. He was wanted in the armed robbery of a pharmacy in Old Bridge. Reports quoting law enforcement authorities say he “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.

She stands accused of “allegedly harboring her then-live-in boyfriend Jason Prontnicki, 43, in her Woodbridge home for approximately an hour on June 11, 2013 and ‘never making any attempt to contact law enforcement,’ according to the complaint filed against her,” says a report in NJ.com. The prosecutor’s office states she was aware of the arrest warrant against Prontnicki “yet still offered to help him get money and transportation to avoid arrest.”

At her arraignment, Brady’s lawyer sought to have the case dismissed, and said his client should be reinstated to the bench.

Said Attorney Tim Smith, “The indictment is based upon two completely unsound legal theories. First, that it’s a crime to not help police capture a fugitive. Second, that there exists a judicial duty to participate in the arrest of a fugitive.

“Thus, we are extremely anxious to immediately move to dismiss it and when this case has concluded, we’ll then move to have Ms. Brady deservedly reinstated to the bench.”

Gov. Chris Christie has weighed on the controversial case and said through a spokesman, “If the accusations about a sitting Superior Court judge are true, then the conduct is deplorable and frankly, stupid.”

Brady, 43, is the first Philippine-born judge on the Vicinage 8 Superior Court in New Jersey covering Middlesex County. The county has jurisdiction over the townships of Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge, which are considered high-income and very middle class.

She was appointed in 2013 and her term is expected to end in 2020. She is the only Filipino American on the State’s Superior Court bench.

Brady has an undergraduate degree from Rutgers College and received her Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law. She started her career as a law clerk for New Jersey Vicinage 8. She is an accomplished lawyer having worked as a civil defense attorney with Picillo Caruso & O’Toole and a construction management attorney with Peckar & Abramson.

She remains suspended from her $165,000-a-year position as a Superior Court judge. — Cristina DC Pastor

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