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TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — A judge accused of making secret recordings of meetings with her boss and initially denying she did it has been suspended without pay by the New Jersey Supreme Court. State Superior Court Judge Deborah Gross-Quatrone’s suspension begins Friday and will last for two months.
Thursday’s court order stemmed from a report last fall by an advisory committee on judicial conduct that concluded Gross-Quatrone’s actions showed a “disturbing lack of sound judgment and professional integrity.”
Gross-Quatrone was working in Bergen County in 2015 when the incidents took place.
She contended she made the recordings because she wasn’t allowed to bring a witness to meetings with superiors to discuss a dispute. She told investigators one of her superiors had previously been verbally abusive and demeaning toward her.
The ethics panel found Gross-Quatrone initially denied making the recordings even after a colleague sitting next to her during one of the meetings noticed a red light emanating from an object in her purse, which turned out to be a digital recorder.
Gross-Quatrone then allegedly threatened to call police if a court employee didn’t return the recorder, and reported it as a theft to sheriff’s officers.
“While (Gross-Quatrone) may have perceived herself to be the subject of hostile treatment, she had available to her several options to address that situation short of engaging in deceptive and insubordinate conduct,” the report concluded.
The court took the committee’s recommendation and didn’t discipline Gross-Quatrone for having her secretary help her son with a school project.
Gross-Quatrone currently sits on the bench in Essex County. An attorney representing her didn’t return a message seeking comment Friday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)