Municipal Judge Wilfredo Benitez is at the center of a controversy after he reportedly shouted profanities and cited his judicial position after being found passed out by the side of a road. Benitez was later found to be intoxicated. However, his charges were later thrown out by another judge.
Two state troopers Justin Kearns and Danny Kim found the judge passed out on the side of the road in his BMW and reportedly took three minutes just to wake him. When he came to, he activating the brake lights and the rear windshield wipers as he tried to open the window.
He then started to yell profanities that he is a “f***ing judge” and not some “drug addict” or “a drunk.” He also called one office a “dick.” A later breath test found Benitez’s blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
However, another New Jersey judge threw out the charges because on flaws in the police work.
The only reason that the public learned of the case was due to an ethics complaint, accusing him of misconduct. Not only did he use his judicial status, but threatened the troopers that “You’re wasting your time and you know it,. I’ll fight you. You know you’re being a dick. I will f–king fight you.”
In tossing the charges, Judge McGeady noted that the rules on the use of breath-testing devices requires that a defendant be observed for 20 uninterrupted minutes before the test is performed to ensure they had not chewed gum, vomited or did other acts that would undermine the test. There was no record of that procedure being followed.
McGeady also found that the prosecution failed to establish that Benitez’s statements and conduct was not the result of “sleep deprivation or having just been awakened.”
Hopefully, the state Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will hold Benitez responsible for his grossly inappropriate conduct.