The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC) issued your decision in the case of former Passaic County surrogate Bernice Toledo today, publicly censuring the former Democratic official and barring her from future judicial office.

The ACJC first charged Toledo with wrongdoing in January 2020, accusing her of handing over the executorship of the deceased’s estate to a political ally rather than the person’s cousin.

Toledo, who initially denied the allegations, was prosecuted in August 2021. Entered the state Pretrial Intervention Program this June, meaning the charges will be dismissed if she commits no further offenses within a year; the judge in her case also approved a lifetime ban on working in state bodies.

Toledo did not seek re-election in 2021, a decision she made before the criminal charges were announced, and was replaced by fellow Democrat Zoila Casanova.

Today’s decision of the AKSM is separate from the criminal case. The committee wrote in its decision that it considers a public censure and a permanent ban on future judgeship “the most appropriate measure of discipline.”

“While we recognize Respondent’s reference to her extrajudicial work and volunteer work as mitigating factors, these circumstances do not sufficiently mitigate Respondent’s admitted abuse of authority and lack of candor to warrant a reprimand in lieu of an evaluation,” the committee wrote.

ACJC Toledo

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