Nichelle A. Johnson was born in Harlem New York to a black father, Alfonso Johnson, and a Puerto Rican mother, Carmen Marrero. Her family moved from Harlem to the Bronx where she spent most of her childhood years. By the time she entered high school, the family had moved again, to White Plains and than to Connecticut where she completed her public school education.
Nichelle attended C. W. Post College of Long Island University in Greenvale, Long Island and graduated with a degree in Business Management. While at C. W. Post she pledged the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, was listed in Who’s Who Among College Students. It was during summers spent on campus that Nichelle began to really understand the importance of service to others. She became a math tutor for educationally and economically disadvantaged students entering college under the Higher Educational Opportunity Program (HEOP) and was honored by C.W. Post for service to the college campus.
Immediately after graduating college in 1988, Nichelle began her professional career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as an analyst in the Currency Verification Department. The Federal Reserve Bank handles billions of dollars in currency deposited by banks. Employees are carefully screened and adhered to strict standards in the processing and destruction of currency. Within 2 years she began taking classes at Brooklyn Law School.
Four evenings out of the work week for the next four years Nichelle left her bank job and traveled to Brooklyn to take part-time night classes. Nichelle did extremely well at Brooklyn Law and knew she found her calling. She competed and became a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. Nichelle later went onto represent Brooklyn Law in a National Trial Competition. In 1993, she was honored by the New York State Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Section, as a member of one of the two winning teams to advance to the National finals representing the Northeast Regional Law Schools in San Antonio Texas. She graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1994 with awards for outstanding trial skills and was admitted to practice
School in 1994 with awards for outstanding trial skills and was admitted to practice law in 1995 after passing the New York State Bar exam on her first try.
For the next two years Nichelle continued working for the Federal Reserve Bank as contract liaison role between the Currency Verification Department and the bank’s Law Department. She received three (3) Presidents Awards for outstanding dedication. Deciding it was time to focus her energies on a full time law career; she joined the Bozeman Law Firm in Mount Vernon and practiced family law, criminal law and matrimonials.
In July 2001, Nichelle began her career in litigation defense in the Corporation Counsel’s Office for the City of Mount Vernon. Nichelle being a self starter with courtroom experience quickly amassed a full caseload. Her litigation aptitude proved to an asset for City of Mount Vernon on a variety of court matters. When she persuaded management to adopt the cost effective measure of keeping intense litigation cases in-house, Nichelle had no idea just how busy she would become. Because of her commitment and tireless effort residents have benefited. Nichelle Johnson has saved taxpayers millions of dollars in legal outsource fees.
She has won prevailing decisions in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and has argued cases in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Nichelle also has current cases in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Nichelle had the honor of arguing on behalf of the City of Mount Vernon before the the Honorable Sonya Sotomayor before she was confirmed as the first hispanic to be appointed a Supreme Court Justice. She was appointment to Judge for City Of Mount Vernon April 2016 to serve a ten year term.
Nichelle is married to native Mount Vernonite Brother Arthur Muh
ammad (formerly Arthur Ryan) well known community advocate and youth activist. Together they have four beautiful daughters; Najah 25, Mecca 23, Isha 21, Amira 19. Brother Arthur’s family has a rich history in Mount Vernon. His father, the late Arthur Ryan, Sr.,was a Democratic District Leader, a community activist and past worshipful mason with the Progressive Lodge #64. His mother, the late Betty-Jo Ryan, was an Eastern Star and a member of Grace Baptist Church.