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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Assembly Speaker calls for ouster of controversial judges

Coughlin says Silva, Troiano should resign or be ‘immediately removed’

By David Wildstein, July 11 2019 9:24 am

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin says he hopes Superior Court Judges Marcia Silva (Middlesex) and James Troiano (Monmouth) will either resign or be immediately removed.

The conduct and comments by both Judge Marcia Silva and Judge James Troiano are alarming and indefensible and hold no place in the court of law,” said Coughlin, a former Edison municipal court judge.

Silva and Troiano are both under fire for statements they made in separate cases involving allegations of sexual assault, both involving teenage assailants and young victims.

As a parent and a former judge, I hold those who represent the court and our justice system to the highest standards,” said Coughlin.  I have always had confidence in our justice system and stand with the decision made by the Appellate Court, determining Judge Silva failed to maintain professional competence in her role as a judge as it pertains to this case.

Silva was slammed for refusing a prosecutor’s bid to try a 16-year-old boy as an adult after he was charged with raping a 12-year-old girl.  She ruled that she was unconvinced of any physical, mental or emotional injuries to the girl other than the loss of her virginity.

“The victims in both cases have alleged serious crimes,” Coughlin said. “While I have full faith and confidence that the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will review these matters with the urgency and gravity such conduct requires, I believe that the judicial system is better served by the resignation or the immediate removal of Judge Silva and Judge Troiano.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney has already called for the ouster of Silva and Troiano.

In 2011, Silva was the Republican candidate for State Assembly in the Middlesex-based 18th district against incumbents Peter Barnes and Patrick Diegnan.

In that race, the Democratic mayor of East Brunswick Mayor, David Stahl, crossed party lines to endorse Silva, his law partner.

Silva and Stahl where married the following year.

Republicans recruited Stahl to switch parties and run for an open State Senate seat in 2013 against Barnes, who was looking to replace State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen), the Democratic candidate for governor.

Two sources at the highest possible level on the Republican side confirmed that part of the deal with Stahl was a judgeship for Silva.  Gov. Chris Christie later nominated her and she took office in early 2014.

Stahl later resigned as mayor and is now a municipal court judge in Woodbridge, Coughlin’s hometown.

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