Out of the wild west …

A Linden NJ municipal judge who rejected defendants’ request for a public defender,  allowed a police officer to act as prosecutor and also seemed to act as  the prosecutor himself is now facing ethics charges by the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.  Judge Louis DiLeo’s “actions transformed the role of the court from a neutral and detached magistrate and evoked the specter of the backwater ‘judge, jury and executioner’ figure that has never had any place in American jurisprudence,” the ACJC said.  “The court’s intervention deprived both defendants of their due process rights,” the complaint goes on. The defendants won a new trial on appeal to Union County Superior Court. There, Judge Scott Moynihan found the actions of DiLeo were a “perversion of justice” and violated the defendants’ constitutional rights.  The ethics complaint charges DiLeo with violating Canons 1, 2A and 3A(1) of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 1 requires judges to observe high standards of conduct so the judiciary’s integrity and independence may be preserved. Canon 2A requires judges to respect and comply with the law and act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the judiciary’s integrity and impartiality. Canon 3A(1) requires judges to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it.