Two lawmakers are expressing outrage over a high profile prosecutor’s withholding of evidence in the prosecution of Rabbi Osher Eisemann, the founder of a school for special needs children.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Paone ordered a new trial for Eisemann after slapping John Nicodemo, a deputy attorney general, with a Brady Rule violation. Paone said that the evidence Nicodemo held back would likely have mean an exoneration for Eisemann.
“Rabbi Eisemann is a good man. He’s not a rich man. He’s a poor guy who has dedicated his life to helping children in need,” said State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood). “This is a wild goose chase.”
State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) called Nicodemo, who is assigned the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability“ among the most unethical to ever work or exist in New Jersey.”
“Prosecutor’s like this essentially answer to no one in this state and country,” Cryan said in a Facebook post. “The public , who these folks work for — although they often forget it — deserves accountability not only for disgraceful conduct like this, but answers on investigations — what was done and why?”
The 60-year-old Nicodemo, who worked as an actor in the before passing the bar in 2012, has worked at the attorney general’s office since 2013. He’s faced some ethics issues of his own over the last few years.
He’s also drawn the ire of Patrick Colligan, the New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association.
“The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability is the office that investigates law enforcement,” Colligan wrote in a post on Cryan’s Facebook page “Not shocking, but I have more information on this guy.”
And the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability is the office that investigates law enforcement! Not shocking, but I have more information on this guy Senator. I’ll be in touch later today.
The attorney general’s office has declined comment on why Nicodemo wasn’t conflicted out as the lead attorney for the state Eisemann’s motion for a new trial, since he was the prosecutor who initially withheld the evidence.
Cryan said he plans on introducing legislation to hold prosecutors accountable.
“There will be a lot of whining about the ‘integrity of investigations,’” Cryan stated. “But when you continue to employ a multiple offender like this, where’s your integrity?”
Singer thinks it is ridiculous that the state is appealing Paone’s decision.
“Go and get people who cause real problems. Stop the nonsense. Period,” Singer said.
Eisemann, who founded the School for Hidden Intelligence, has been fighting the state’s allegations against him since 2018. He was accused of misappropriating over $200,00 in school funds as part of a scheme to create the effect that he used personal funds to repay money he owed the school. He was found guilty of second degree money laundering and second degree misconduct by a corporate official, after a four-week trial, but was acquitted on three other charges.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in Lakewood who has a bad thing to say about him,” said Singer.
The Lakewood Scoop first reported Cryan’s comments.
This story was updated at 9:36 AM with comment from Colligan.