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Woodbridge Judge In Voting Controversy Abruptly Resigns - Why?

Thanks to the Home News Tribune for their continuing coverage of the Woodbridge Judge Spencer B. Robbins debacle, and to Patch for their earlier coverage on Robbins.

Here is the latest from Sergio Bichao of the Home News Tribune:
http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20140303/NJNEWS20/303030060/Woodbridge-judge-voting-controver...

From Patch in January 2013:

Woodbridge Judge Spencer B. Robbins, who moved to Chatham in 1998 but continued voting from his Woodbridge law office for 12 years, was reappointed to another three-year term as a municipal judge.

Robbins' reappointment was buried in a New Year flurry of resolutions that the council voted on at their reorganization meeting earlier this month. He makes approximately $77,000 in the position, according to a Home News Tribune report.

The trouble came about when it was learned that Robbins, who owns a law practice in Woodbridge, had been voting from his office address since 1998, four years after he was appointed to a judgeship here. He was stopped after Christopher Struben, the Republican candidate for mayor who lost in the 2011 election, complained about Robbins' illegally voting from his Woodbridge law office. 

Struben and several town residents demanded that Mayor John McCormac or the town council remove Robbins from the bench. Council Attorney Craig Coughlin said that the council had no power to discipline Robbins.

The Middlesex County Board of Elections unanimously ruled that Robbins was in the wrong, and the matter afterwards was taken up by the state judicial ethics panel. 

Their decisions are considered to be confidential, unless a judge is removed from the bench.

It wasn't Robbins' first brush with ethics panels. In 2004, he wasadmonished by the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) of the NJ Supreme Court. They charged that Robbins had failed to comply with an investigator's request for a grievance filed against him; failed to sign an agreement in lieu of being disciplined; and failed to file a timely answer to a formal ethics complaint.

An admonishment is considered to be the least severe form of discipline that can be meted out to an attorney, according to the DRB report.

Struben also pointed out that Robbins was chairman of the board of directors of Allegiance Bank, a financial institution with which the township does business. Allegiance merged with BCB Community Bank in 2011, and Robbins sits on their board of directors.

Robbins' financial interest in the bank was a conflict of interest, Struben said. The township still holds accounts in the institution.

Robbins was admitted to the bar in New York and New Jersey in 1981. He served as municipal prosecutor in Woodbridge from 1988 to 1994, when he was appointed as a municipal judge. He also serves as a municipal judge in South Plainfield and Sayreville.

olga bocchiaro March 04, 2014 at 07:18 PM
another disgusting and disheartening story og crappy politics in Woodbridge.I want to know when will there be change.
Michael John Lance March 04, 2014 at 07:28 PM
I think when we all DIE. God i hope theres a HEAVEN!!!!!
Tom Maras March 05, 2014 at 07:54 AM
To those you are as tired and discussed with the way this township appears to be growing worse in regard to waste, fraud and abuse, both at the municipal and BOE levels, please do one of the following: 1. Provide your commentary on my blog. 2. Start your own 3. Email me at: Apropos_T@msn.com. Anything I receive will be treated as 'confidential'. If you have documents or credible leads that can be used to verify your story/complaint, please provide them. Your ID, if you share it, will NOT be disclosed, unless you grant me permission to do so.
Gary Introne March 19, 2014 at 08:06 AM
It's called being a prideful little-man crook. I hope they throw him into the sea. He should immediately be removed from whatever taxpayer-funded responsibilities he's had and lawsuits should commence to get him to re-pay what he's stolen. Who does he, has he, thought he is and was? Find his crooked paper-trail, and follow it. Gary Introne garyjinn123@aol.com

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