Legal Ethics

Judge in Trouble Over BS Comment


A New Jersey municipal court judge contends he shouldn’t be disciplined for telling a landlord his excuse for failing to show up in court was “a lot of bullshit.”

Judge Frank Leanza of Guttenberg, N.J., said he had learned his lesson during a hearing on Thursday before the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.

Leanza said the landlord, accused of failing to fix his apartment buildings, had twice faked heart attacks during court hearings. He racked up $200,000 in fines and had ignored several summonses and warrants before his March 2006 arrest.

The landlord told Leanza he had not shown up in court because he had been away, an assertion the judge knew to be untrue, he said. That’s when Leanza made the BS statement.

“I was as frustrated as I could be,” he testified.

Leanza also said he was under stress because of his wife’s treatment for breast cancer and he needed health insurance provided to him as a judge to pay treatment costs.

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