By Editor | July 20th, 2007 - 10:35am
| More

The New Jersey Supreme Court announced today the censured Associate Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto for his role in a 2006 incident involving his son and a teammate on a high school football team.

The court agreed with a judicial conduct panel that Rivera-Soto "engaged in a course of conduct that created a risk that the prestige and power of his judicial office might influence and advance a private matter."

Rivera-Soto is the first state Supreme Court Justice to be censured in New Jersey history. Justice Robert Clifford was once reprimanded for a DWI conviction -- a lesser penalty.

But still, Rivera-Soto remains on the top court -- making the penalty essentially a slap on the wrist.

The Supreme Court found that Rivera-Soto used his post to influence a Camden County Superior Court Judge presiding over a dispute involving his son's high school football team. Rivera-Soto is accused of using or allowing "the power and prestige of his office as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to influence or advance the private interests of his family and his son."

According to a complaint, the Justice's son, playing touch football with Haddonfield Township High School classmates last September, was involved in a "head-butting" incident that may or may not have been intentional. Rivera-Soto, upset with the school's failure to discipline the other student involved -- and after threatening to involve the State Police -- called the local Police Chief's cell phone to demand an investigation. The Justice eventually filed a criminal complaint against his son's teammate.

The complaint also alleges that Rivera-Soto "referred or alluded to his judicial office" during a telephone conversation with the Superintendent of Schools, and personally called the Assignment Judge, the Acting Camden County Prosecutor, and other court officials to discuss the case.

Rivera-Soto is accused of violating the Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Court Rules, "which requires judges to observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.. to avoid creating the appearance of impropriety and to act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary... (and) to avoid lending the prestige of their office to advance the private interests of others;... (and) prohibits conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute.

AttachmentSize
riverasoto.pdf8.63 KB

The Back Room

Corbett yanks Perry video endorsement

While Gov. Chris Christie rushed to Gov. Rick Perry's aid in the aftermath of his indictment, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's re-election campaign wants to distance itself from the embattled Texan.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 19th

Essex Royale: Jones pulls party faithful in for night of gaming, political mixing BELLEVILLE – Elbows on the felt table top, veteran Democratic Party political operative Phil Alagia looked across the void in a room crammed with party members getting a groove on as a bow-tied dealer dealt another...

Op-Ed

Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >

Contributors

(8-13-14) 'What if' Rob Andrews? - Rob Andrews’ retirement from public service has never been properly mourned as the great loss it was for the State of New Jersey. ... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“It’s not the first time, it’s not the last time, that a nominee with an issue is going to come up. But you can’t just say, therefore no one else goes forth. That nominee has nothing to do with these nominees, and the governor made a substitution for him anyway.” - state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28)

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Which of these big city mayors is best positioned to take his/her city to the next level?:

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