High Court dismisses ethics grievance filed by Democratic state Senators from Essex
By Max Pizarro | January 9th, 2013 - 1:14pm
| More

Responding to a state Senate-requested advisory committee investigation into state Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-40) spearheaded by senators Dick Codey, Ron Rice and Nia Gill, the New Jersey Supreme Court today denied there is any evidence of judicial and attorney misconduct in Essex County.

"The evidence of record indicates, clearly, that Senator O’Toole called Judge Costello on May 2, 2012 to discuss the reappointments of several Essex County Superior Court judges whose nominations for reappointment were in jeopardy," the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct report determined. "The mere fact that this telephone call occurred, however, is not itself evidence of judicial impropriety, but rather consistent with the past and present practice of the three branches of government in respect of judicial reappointments."

The advisory committee worked cooperatively with the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE).

"Though it is undisputed that Senator O’Toole called Judge Costello concerning the reappointments of several Essex County Superior Court judges on May 2, 2012, there is no evidence to substantiate the allegation that during that conversation Senator O’Toole told Judge Costello the success of any jurist’s reappointment was dependent upon Senator Gill’s agreement to 'sign off' on a particular judicial nominee," the committee reported to the Supreme Court. "There is, likewise, no evidence to substantiate the allegation that Senator O’Toole directed Judge Costello to ask the judges awaiting nomination for reappointment to communicate with Senator Gill and advise her to 'sign off' on any judicial nominee."  

The committee said while it is undisputed that Judge Costello met with [the judges facing reappointment] and their presiding judges following her telephone conversation with Senator O’Toole on May 2, 2012, "there is no evidence to demonstrate that during those meetings she informed any one of them that their reappointments were dependent upon their ability to convince Senator Gill to 'sign off' on a particular judicial nominee.  Indeed, by all accounts no such conversation occurred.    

"Given the lack of any evidence to substantiate the allegations of judicial or attorney misconduct, the Committee has decided to dismiss this ethics grievance against the Respondents," the advisory committee concluded, which the court in turn accepted. 

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources