NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The top official overseeing the state court system in Middlesex County appears to have been ousted from office abruptly.
Dawn Brevard-Waters first became a Trial Court Administrator (TCA) nearly four years ago, following the retirement of Gregory Edwards, who had served in the role for 45 years.
As TCA, Brevard-Waters was the highest-ranking staff executive in the “vicinage,” which covers all 25 towns in Middlesex County.
Brevard-Waters joined the Passaic Vicinage as a criminal investigator in 1989. She went on to work her way up before transferring to the Camden Vicinage in 1999, and eventually starting the TCA job in Middlesex on October 19, 2015.
But sources tell New Brunswick Today that she was unceremoniously escorted out of the Middlesex County Courthouse earlier this month, and has not returned since.
According to state records, Brevard-Waters was paid an annual salary of $123,611.29.
The official website of New Jersey’s judicial system, NJCourts.gov, now lists John Pushko as “Acting Trial Court Administrator” for the vicinage.
Pushko took over for Brevard-Waters on July 3, but was on vacation and unavailable for comment as of July 25, according to courthouse staff.
The press office for NJ Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) confirmed that Brevard-Waters no longer works for the state, but wouldn’t say what happened.
“We can confirm that Dawn Brevard-Waters no longer works for the Judiciary,” said AOC spokesperson Mary Ann Spoto.
“We have no further comment, as this is a personnel matter.”
Spoto said only that they are working to recruit someone to fill the position permanently: “The position has been posted so that a permanent replacement can be chosen.”
The AOC statement announcing Brevard-Waters promotion indicated she would be “in charge of all court operations, including financial management, human resources, information systems, case coordination, case flow management, probation services, jury utilization, facilities, equipment, maintenance, records management and statistical analysis.”
According to the statement, the Acting Administrative Director of the New Jersey Courts, Judge Glenn A. Grant, appointed Brevard-Waters to the powerful role “after conferring with, and with the recommendation of, Judge [Travis] Francis,” referring to the former Assignment Judge of Middlesex County.
Francis, now employed at the law firm Riker Danzig, did not immediately return a phone call from New Brunswick Today about the matter.
Staff for the county’s current Assignment Judge, Alberto Rivas, referred all questions on the matter to the AOC press office.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.