Home>Highlight>After attorney fires him, Sudhan Thomas now represented by a public defender

Former Jersey City Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas appears virtually in Superior Court on April 19, 2021. (Photo: Zoom/NJ Globe.)

After attorney fires him, Sudhan Thomas now represented by a public defender

Former Jersey City school board president charged with taking $35,000 bribe from cooperating witness Matt O’Donnell

By David Wildstein, April 19 2021 9:28 am

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.

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