Former Jersey City Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas is on his third attorney since being charged sixteen months ago and will now be represented by a public defender as he battles state corruption charges.
Thomas is accused of accepting a $35,000 cash bribe from Matthew O’Donnell, the state’s cooperating witness in an undercover corruption sting.
Judge Stephen Taylor today allowed Matthew Troiano to be relieved as Thomas’ attorney at a brief hearing on Monday,
“We spoke last week and I full consent to the request,” Thomas said.
No reasons were given for Troiano’s departure. In some cases, an attorney resignation followed by a public defender assignment indicates issues regarding the payment of legal fees.
In February 2020, Christopher Adams dropped Thomas for failure to pay counsel fees and a “breakdown in communications.”
Adams also ended his representation of Thomas in the federal case. The former school board attorney is now represented by a federal public defender, Rahul Kumar Sharma.
Thomas’ new attorney is Joseph Corazza, a Morris County assistant public defender.
“He’s an excellent attorney,” Taylor told Thomas about Corazza, a former assistant prosecutor in Morris County.
Deputy Attorney General John Nicodemo said that a protective order involving voluminous documents turned over by the state will be redrawn to reflect Corazza’s representation.
In a separate matter, Thomas is facing a gargantuan 26-count federal grand jury indictment on money laundering, fraud and embezzlement charges.
Thomas lost his bid for re-election to his school board seat in November 2019.