After pleading guilty to charges for tampering with public records or information, as well as falsifying or tampering with records in Bergen County Superior Court in June of 2010, a former municipal court judge recently received a six-month legal license suspension from the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics.
54-year-old Jersey City resident Wanda Molina, the former Chief Judge at Jersey City Municipal Court, was originally charged in connection with offenses involving the alteration of state-issued tickets. According to court documents, Molina admitted to abusing her judicial power by dismissing eight summonses for parking violations issued to her significant other between October 30, 2006 and April 2, 2007.
Molina subsequently resigned from her position on September 21, 2007. After she pleaded guilty to the charges, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Harry G. Carroll sentenced Molina to three years of probation in August of 2010. In addition, she is no longer eligible for public employment in New Jersey.
In reference to the charges for to which the former judge pleaded guilty, tampering with public records or information is considered a third-degree offense, punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. On the other hand,falsifying or tampering with records offenses, governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4, are classified as crimes of the fourth-degree, which are punishable by a maximum of 18 months of imprisonment.
As part of the most recent disciplinary action in this case, Molina will be required to payrestitution to the Disciplinary Oversight Committee to cover the costs of her legal proceedings. Further, all documentation pertaining to these charges will be included in her record as an attorney practicing in New Jersey.
Considering the penalties to which she was potentially exposed, Molina fared relatively well in this case, as she received a comparably lenient sentence.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Former top Jersey City judge’s law license suspended for fixing tickets