Drunken, Abusive Judge Gets his Day in Court – In re Sasso

On June 16th, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hold oral argument in the Matter of Richard M. Sasso, former judge of the Bridgewater Township Municipal Court. In a presentment released on Thursday by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC), the former judge is accused of being drunk while on the bench, abusing and bullying attorneys and litigants who appeared before him through contempt powers, using his position as a judge to avoid being kicked out of a go-go bar while intoxicated and representing a political subdivision of a municipality where he served as judge.

Apart from any formal discipline that might be imposed by the Supreme Court, the ACJC also recommended that the respondent be barred from holding judicial office for life. On June 16th, the respondent will have an opportunity before the Supreme Court to contest the ACJC findings as reported in the presentment and/or to argue for a lesser quantum of discipline based upon mitigating factors.

In New Jersey, all final discipline on matters related to judicial misconduct must be imposed by the Supreme Court.

Download a copy of the presentment in In re Sasso.

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