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Judge disciplined privately after ethics complaint

Louis Sceusi endorsed wife for GOP post

By David Wildstein, August 20 2018 12:15 am

The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct has decided to deal privately with an ethics complaint filed against Superior Court Judge Louis Sceusi, according to a letter obtained by the New Jersey Globe.

Sceusi, a former Rockaway Township mayor, was accused of violating rules that judges refrain from political activity by endorsing his wife for Republican County Committeewoman in a contested race last June.

The panel found that the allegations against Sceusi had merit, but did not rise to the level of necessitating a formal proceeding.  In cases where a judge’s conduct would reflect negatively if his behavior became habitual, court rules allow for a private censure, reprimand, admonishment, or guidance concerning the alleged conduct.  The exact level of the disciplinary action is not public.

The judge signed a nominating petition for his wife, Ingrid Sceusi, a longtime Republican committeewoman and former municipal chair.  Ingrid Sceusi was defeated for re-election by challenger Gretchen Tramontin-Clegg.

The complaint was filed by Vincent La Iacona, a Rockaway Township resident who is allied with a faction of the local GOP that opposed the judge’s wife.

Sceusi, 65, served as mayor of Rockaway for eleven years before Gov. Chris Christie nominated him to serve as a judge in 2012.  A former federal prosecutor, Sceusi had entered the race for State Assembly in a 2011 special election following the death of Minority Leader Alex DeCroce.  He withdrew the night of the election, clearing the way for Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) to take her late husband’s seat.

If Gov. Phil Murphy reappoints Sceusi next year, he would receive a tenured appointment to the bench until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Louis Sceusi ACJC Letter re 2018-221 dated 2018-08-07
Judicial Conduct Action on Completion of Preliminary Investigation
Sceusi 2018-04-09 Complaint - Judge Sceusi
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