Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has nominated Rahat Chatha and Paul Scalia to serve as municipal judges to replace Judges Carlo Abad and Margaret Marley in light of them being confirmed to the Hudson County Superior Court.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The nominations will be on the agenda for the April 15th city council, and upon confirmation, Chatha will serve as a part-time Municipal Court judge, while current part-time Judge Karen DeSoto will fill one of the current full-time vacancies
Scalia has served as an assistant municipal prosecutor for Jersey City for the past 20 years and would be appointed as a full-time judge.
“The appointment of our two esteemed judges to Superior Court speaks to the fact that we have only the best judges in our courts, and I know these new judges will expand upon those efforts to cultivate a court system the community can trust,” Fulop said in a statement.
“Jersey City has one of the busiest municipal court vicinages in New Jersey, and these three new judges bring with them a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to help best serve the local community with a diverse and fair judicial system.”
“Having served the citizens of the City of Jersey City as an Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for the past 20 years, it is an honor for me to be nominated to serve as a Municipal Judge in one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the nation – the City that I was born and raised in,” added Scalia.
Scalia’s two decades in his current post also earned high marks from his boss, Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut.
“These nominees will ensure that Jersey City continues to have the most problem-solving, public safety-focused municipal courthouse in New Jersey. Additionally, A.P. Scalia has been among our most open-minded prosecutors willing to consider both sides of an argument, which is the most important quality of an effective jurist,” he noted.
Raised in Jersey City, Chatha has also spent her entire legal career here as an attorney, most recently focusing on social services.
Furthermore, she serves as a commissioner on the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority.
“I am honored and excited to join a team of experienced and objective individuals. I will aspire daily to bring justice for the residents of Jersey City,” Chatha exclaimed.
“I hope to inspire others within my community to have greater confidence in our judicial system and pursue their desired path. I am deeply appreciative of the confidence and consideration that Mayor Fulop and Jersey City Council Members have placed in me.”
As for DeSoto, she worked for Jersey City as an assistant municipal prosecutor and then as corporation counsel in the early 2000s.
She has since represented a range of cases in her private practice, from civil rights and employment law, to municipal corporations and everything in between. Since 2018, she has served as a part-time municipal court judge in Jersey City.
” … It’s a privilege to use my years of experience to continue to serve the people of Jersey City. I’m looking forward to expanding my role with the courts,” DeSoto indicated.
On Tuesday, Fulop revealed that Judge Ramy Aid was his pick for new chief municipal judge, succeeding Abad if the council approves his nomination.