On Monday, November 6, 2023, Point Pleasant Beach Municipal Court Judge Robert M. LePore responded to an ethics complaint filed against him by the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct regarding his Facebook activity. In a formal response, Judge LePore and his attorney Robert Ramsey addressed the allegations made in the complaint.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Robert M. LePore,” with case number ACJC 2023-317.
The complaint accused Judge LePore of violating judicial conduct codes through his Facebook “likes” and shares that expressed support for law enforcement and partisan political views. However, Judge LePore claims that many of these posts occurred before he was appointed as a municipal court judge in 2020.
In his response, Judge LePore stated that he scoured his Facebook account on three separate occasions and went back over a dozen years to remove any posts that could be seen as unethical. He also “unfriended” any individuals who may pose issues. However, Judge LePore admitted that due to his limited technical knowledge of Facebook, he did not search through those he had liked or followed on the platform.
To address the complaint, Judge LePore worked with his spouse to locate how to delete, block, and unlike posts and individuals from his page. However, he needed online tutorials to understand how to fully uninstall these endorsements. Judge LePore’s attorney argued that any objectionable content remaining on his page was due to negligence rather than deliberate misconduct.
Some of the specific infractions cited included Judge LePore liking posts in support of law enforcement. His response claimed most of these were to support his son, a detective, and law enforcement friends from before taking the bench. With help from his daughter, Judge LePore has now removed all law enforcement affiliations from his Facebook.
Judge LePore was also called out for liking an advertisement for Republican candidates. His attorney stated this was from prior to serving as a judge and one candidate had been his friend for 30 years, though he has now unfollowed him.
Due to his past career in real estate law, Judge LePore was connected to related businesses and individuals on Facebook as well. With his daughter’s assistance, he has eliminated all such associations.
Judge LePore has maintained that while more could have been done initially, he has taken steps to address all issues raised. He has requested a hearing before the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct to further discuss the ethics complaint against him.
Judge LePore’s courtroom is located at 416 New Jersey Ave., Pt Pleasant Beach, New Jersey 08742, and can be reached at 732-892-1118. His info can be found on martindale.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.