In moves that enhance the diversity of the New Jersey judiciary, Gov. Phil Murphy has nominated two Jersey City municipal court judges and a partner at a politically influential law firm to serve as Superior Court judges in Hudson County.
Murphy has named Carlo Abad, the chief judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court, Scarinci Hollenbeck partner Michael Jimenez, and Margaret Marley, a full-time judge in Jersey City.
Abad had initially been named to the Jersey City court by Mayor Jeramiah Healy and his pick as chief judge was initially blocked by Steven Fulop, then a city councilman running for mayor. Fulop eventually reappointed him.
Jimenez serves as the Guttenberg town attorney, special counsel to the North Bergen Board of Education, and labor counsel to the Hudson County Schools of Technology. He has also served as counsel to school boards in Weehawken and Fairview and as municipal prosecutor in several North Jersey towns.
Marley was first named to the municipal court judgeship by Healy in 2007 a after parking ticket-fixing scandal rocked the city.
If confirmed by the Senate, Abad would become the only Filipino American on the state bench.
Carlia Brady who had become the first Filipino American Superior Court Judge in 2013, but she was not renominated after an ethics complaint ended her judicial career.
Murphy’s nominations of Abad and Marley is luck for Fulop, who would get a chance to appoint two new judges to the municipal court in advance of the 2017 mayoral election.
Murphy has also nominated William Cooper, a former Somerset County Counsel, to serve as a state Administrative Law Judge.
Cooper had previously served as municipal attorney in Somerville and South Bound Brook and was transition counsel to Gov.-elect Chris Christie in 2009. He was named county counsel in 2011, during Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli’s final year as a freeholder.