The Supreme Court of New Jersey censured and permanently disqualified Nino F, Falcone, judge of the Municipal Court of the Township of North Bergen, from future judicial service, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Judge Nino F, Falcone’ with case number #ACJC 2020-001.

The judge was charged with violating the Canons and Rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct, including Canon 1 Rule 1.1 and Rule 1.2, Canon 2 Rule 2.1, and Canon 5 Rule 5.1 (A).

These ethics rules generally require:

A judge shall participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and shall personally observe, high standards of conduct so the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary are preserved.

A judge shall respect and comply with the law.

A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

A judge shall conduct extrajudicial activities in a manner that would not demean the judicial office.

The judicial canons can be found here.

The order reads:

“The Committee’s findings and the evidence of record demonstrate that the charges set forth in the Formal Complaint filed against Nino F. Falcone (Respondent), a part-time judge of the Municipal Court, relating to his offensive touching of a client’s representative in his private practice of law on August 29, 2019, for which he was charged with criminal sexual contact, a crime of the fourth degree, have been proven by clear and convincing evidence. The Committee’s findings and the evidence of record likewise demonstrate, clearly and convincingly, that Respondent was duplicitous when testifying before this Committee in defense of these ethics charges.

Respondent’s offensive touching and, separately, his pervasive dishonesty when testifying before this Committee about that conduct, constitute egregious violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct for which removal would ordinarily be warranted. Respondent, however, retired from judicial office on August 31, 2020, and has not served as a jurist since September 12, 2019.”

A copy of the original filing can be found here.