Alberto Coutinho

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Alberto Coutinho
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 29th district
In office
January 8, 2008 – September 11, 2013
Serving with L. Grace Spencer
Preceded by Wilfredo Caraballo
William D. Payne
Succeeded by Eliana Pintor Marin
In office
May 22, 1997 – January 13, 1998
Serving with Willie B. Brown
Preceded by Jackie Mattison
Succeeded by William D. Payne
Personal details
Born (1969-06-16) June 16, 1969 (age 47)
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence Newark, New Jersey

Albert Coutinho (born June 16, 1969) (also known as Albert Coutinho) is a former American Democratic Party politician, who represented the 29th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly from May 1997 to January 1989 and again from January 8, 2008 until his resignation on September 11, 2013. He was eventually sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to theft and falsifying records, thus ending his career in New Jersey politics.


Coutinho was born in Newark the son of Maria and Bernardino Coutinho, two Portuguese-American community leaders in the city.[1] He earned a B.S. degree from New York University, with a major in Economics and Finance, and was awarded an M.B.A. from New York University in International Operations and Organizational Behavior. He is managing partner at Alter International beginning that position in 1998.[1][2] Other jobs he has held include being the president of Coutex Inc. and a manager at Coutinho's Bakery, a long-time family business.[1]

He served the City of Newark as Central Planning Board Commissioner from 1996 to 2005 and as a Zoning Board of Adjustment Commissioner from 1993 to 1996. He was an Essex County Utilities Authority Commissioner from 1992 to 1998.[2] He is a resident of the Ironbound section of Newark.

General Assembly[edit]

In 1997, incumbent 29th District Assemblyman Jackie R. Mattison resigned in May 1997 following his sentencing for bribery charges.[3] Coutinho was chosen by the local Essex County Democratic Committee members to fill the seat until the expiration of Mattison's term in January 1998. His appointment to the New Jersey Legislature made him the first Portuguese-American to serve in the Legislature.[1] He declined to seek election to a full term.

He was then elected to the General Assembly from the same district in 2007 defeating incumbent Wilfredo Caraballo in the June 2007 Democratic primary.[4] In the Assembly, he served on the Commerce and Economic Development Committee (as Chair), the Budget Committee, the Human Services Committee, and the Joint State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee.[2]

On September 6, 2013, Coutinho announced that he would drop out as a candidate in the upcoming general election. At the time, he cited family reasons and his health (he had suffered a heart attach earlier in the summer) for his retirement from the Assembly.[5][6] He then resigned from the office on September 11, 2013 amid an investigation into a charity that had been established by his father. A special convention of 200 Essex County Democratic Committee members chose Eliana Pintor Marin to fill his vacant seat in the Assembly and to take his ballot position for the November 2013 general election.[7]

Coutinho subsequently pleaded guilty the next day to theft and falsifying of records related to his personal use of funds intended for his family's foundation.[8] He was sentenced to three years' probation and must pay restitution as well as never again serve as an elected official or public employee of the state.[9]

District 29[edit]

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 29th District for the 2012-2013 Legislative Session are:[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Duthie, J. (January 8, 2008). "Assembly Democrats: 12 new Democratic Assembly members take oaths of office". Politicker NJ. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D)". New Jersey Legislature. Archived from the original on September 6, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ Pristin, Terry (July 15, 1997). "Ex-Newark Aide Is Sentenced for Bribery". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Official List Candidate Returns for General Assembly For June 2007 Primary Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. July 20, 2007. p. 29. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Pizarro, Max (June 21, 2013). "Coutinho in stable condition after suffering heart attack". Politicker NJ. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  6. ^ Pizarro, Max (September 6, 2013). "Newark's Coutinho will not seek re-election". Politicker NJ. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ Giambusso, David. "Eliana Pintor Marin will replace Essex Assemblyman Coutinho", The Star-Ledger, September 11, 2013. Accessed October 3, 2013. "Hours after state Assemblyman Al Coutinho (D-Essex) tendered his resignation today, party leaders gathered in Newark's ornate Mediterranean Manor to vote for his replacement, Eliana Pintor Marin.... Coutinho stepped down abruptly today amid an investigation into a family foundation started by his father Bernardino Coutinho. Pintor Marin will fill out the remainder of his term in the Assembly and will replace him on the ballot in November."
  8. ^ "Assemblyman Albert Coutinho Pleads Guilty to Stealing Funds from Charitable Foundation and Filing False Disclosure Forms" (Press release). New Jersey Attorney General. September 12, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ Baxter, Christopher. "Ex-N.J. Assemblyman Al Coutinho sentenced to three years probation for theft", The Star-Ledger, Newark, 25 October 2013. Accessed 28 October 2013.
  10. ^ Legislative Roster 2012-2013 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed October 3, 2013.

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Wilfredo Caraballo
William D. Payne
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 29th District
January 8, 2008 – September 11, 2013
With: L. Grace Spencer
Succeeded by
Eliana Pintor Marin
Preceded by
Jackie Mattison
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 29th District
May 22, 1997 – January 13, 1998
With: Willie B. Brown
Succeeded by
William D. Payne