Judges Who Dined With Accused Felon Say They Broke No Ethics Strictures
Both admitted they knew that Ardis had been arrested and indicted and continued to dine with him on Thursday evenings, though they balked at the ACJC's contention that the criminal matter was "highly publicized."
Reddin "fully admits that he routinely dined with Ardis in public restaurants and attended Mass" but "denies any allegation or contention that he knowingly or intentionally engaged in any conduct which demeans his Judicial office or any conduct knowingly or with the intent to violate the Code of Judicial Conduct."
Keegan similarly denied "any allegations, express or implied, that he intended to demean the Office of the Judiciary" and asked the ACJC to "note his unblemished record as both a lawyer and a judge, and the high regard he holds among his professional colleagues."
The judges are charged with violating Canon 1 (requiring judges to observe high standards of conduct to preserve the integrity and independence of the judiciary); Canon 2A (requiring they respect and comply with the law and act in a manner promoting public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary); and Canon 5A(2) (requiring that extrajudicial activities be conducted so as not to demean judicial office).
Reddin is represented by his son, Raymond B. Reddin, of Piro, Zinna, Cifelli, Paris & Genitempo in Nutley.
Neither returned a call Wednesday.
The younger Reddin previously told the Law Journal that legal matters never were discussed at the gatherings. He declined to address whether his father still attends the meetings.
Keegan, a Woodland Park solo and one of Paterson's four municipal judges, and his lawyer, Paterson solo Clark Cornwell III, did not return a call Wednesday.
Indicted along with Ardis were Kevin Keogh, superintendent for special services, and Chester Mazza, assistant superintendent for special services. All three were terminated from the PVSC when charges were filed.
Keogh and Mazza pleaded guilty. Ardis' charges are pending, with a trial date scheduled for Dec. 2.