- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey judge faces potential discipline form the state’s highest court for pulling a court employee by the ear and unwelcome touching.

The potential discipline comes after the Advisory Council for Judicial Conduct released a report Thursday saying a possible suspension and the stripping of Gerald Council’s designation as Mercer County presiding criminal judge was warranted.

The disciplinary committee said Council humiliated a former drug court worker by singling her out at a social event and forcefully leading her out of a room. The judge also grabbed her by the ear on a separate occasion and walked her out of a courtroom in front of colleagues at a meeting.

Council denied the allegations at a hearing. Council’s secretary referred calls for comment to the state judiciary, which cited the decision.

The advisory council substantiated allegations that Council had forcefully placed his hand on the woman’s back and led her out of a room full of 100 people who had gathered at a judiciary meet-and-greet in 2012. Council told her she had work to do and couldn’t stay.



The report said touching “undeniably diminishes the stature and integrity” of the judicial office.

The disciplinary committee was unable to substantiate the worker’s allegations that Council shushed her at the end of a court proceeding.

The state’s highest court will consider the discipline at a hearing Dec. 2.

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