The prosecutor who violated the Brady Act by withholding exculpatory evidence while going after SCHI founder Rabbi Osher Eisemann has a previous history of questionable ethics, the NJ Globe reports.
Last Tuesday, Judge Joseph Paone granted Rabbi Eisemann’s motion for a retrial following the revelation of new evidence proving that he didn’t make the QuickBooks entry in question and that a loan prosecutors said he was repaying never existed. Additionally, the judge granted the motion because prosecutors knew of the evidence and hid it from the defense – a violation of the Brady Act.
Prosecutor John Nicodemo, who is responsible for the hiding the evidence, was the one who argued against Rabbi Eisemann deserving a new trial. That’s a headscratcher. Shouldn’t the prosecutor who illegally hid evidence be taken off the case immediately? But this wasn’t the first time Nicodemo has been on the wrong side of ethical actions.
“In an April 2021 court hearing where Nicodemo sought to seal a list of potential targets in a state corruption probe involving cooperating witness Matthew O’Donnell, an attorney representing a former assemblyman facing bribery charges requested a certification from the attorney general’s office that all evidence had been turned over,” the Globe reports.
“But the judge, Mitzi Galis-Menendez, decided she would accept Nicodemo’s word and not require any certification. In that case, the judge acknowledged that the attorney general’s office made a mistake in court filings that disclosed the names of the potential targets. The attorney general’s office filed the motion to seal records two days after the New Jersey Globe sought copies of public court filings.
“Earlier this year, an attorney representing Holmdel in a civil lawsuit against O’Donnell accused Nicodemo of communicating about the case directly to a Superior Court judge without notifying him.
“Nicodemo made an unusual end-run around court procedure by sending a letter to Judge Linda Grasso Jones by mail rather than electronically filing it. Because Nicodemo didn’t follow the procedure, the court staff uploaded it themselves three weeks later.”
With Nicodemo’s questionable legal maneuvers, the question that begs to be asked is: Should Nicodemo himself be investigated by the Attorney General?