Approaching three years after being charged by complaint of embezzling money from the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP) while serving as their acting executive director, Sudhan Thomas received yet another continuance in his case today.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The discovery in this matter involves numerous documents and materials that defense counsel requires adequate time to review,” U.S. District Judge William Martini wrote.
“The grant of a continuance order will ensure that … defense counsel has sufficient time to review and inspect discovery and further investigate the charges in this matter. The failure to grant a continuance would deny counsel for the defendant the reasonable time necessary to effectively prepare for trial, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.”
The case has seen significant delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, over a dozen to date, and this is also Thomas’ third continuance granted this year, with the latest order signed through November 30th.
In January 2020, Thomas, also a former Jersey City Board of Education president, was charged by complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s Office with embezzling over $45,000 from JCETP while serving as head of the agency.
For about two weeks, Thomas was going to be represented by high-profile criminal defense attorney Christopher Adams, who would’ve also been his counsel in a separate case from the state Attorney General’s Office accusing him of bribery and official misconduct, but he was dropped for non-payment – the first of two times since he’s been charged.
10 months later, federal prosecutors threw the book at Thomas, charging him in a 26-count indictment alleging an elaborate embezzlement, money laundering, and bribery scheme involving both JCEPT and the BOE.
Additionally, Paul Appel, outside counsel for JCETP and the treasurer for Thomas’ 2016 BOE campaign, was charged as an accomplice on five counts.
Back in March 2021, Thomas rejected a plea deal from the AG’s Office that would’ve landed him five years in state prison and pleaded not guilty.