Ethics charges filed against former Jersey City Municipal Judge Francis C. Babcock
Documents obtained by John Paff, Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project, reveal that ethics charges have been filed against former Jersey City Municipal Judge Francis C. Babcock.
On January 22, 2016, Deputy Ethics Counsel HoeChin Kim, of The Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), filed an ethics complaint against Francis C. Babcock – according to documents obtained through the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by open government activist John Paff.
According to the complaint, Babcock, who served as a municipal judge in Jersey City from 2007 to 2015, has allegedly failed to comply with multiple court orders regarding the “Estate of Andrew Thompson.”
The charges center around failure to provide required accounting for bank deposits and failure to respond to court orders, which stem from a complaint filed by Judge Katherine R. Dupuis filed on September 18, 2014, due to his apparent lack of work on the case.
The complaint states that on or about October 30, 2014, Dupuis signed a bench warrant for Babcock’s arrest for his failures to comply with prior orders, and that a new lawyer, Nicholas A. Giuditta III, Esq., was appointed as the substitutionary administrator.
It’s not clear whether Babcock was ever arrested, but according to the complaint he continued to fail to provide proper accounting and documentation in line with court orders.
On April 30, 2015, Dupuis entered an order holding him in violation of litigant’s rights for failure to turn over files to Giuditta and entering judgment against him for costs.
On August 24, 2015, upon inquiry from the OAE, Giuditta stated that he had received copies of documents from Babcock on May 18, 2015, but the information provided was not sufficient for him to conduct an accounting.
Bank statements subpoenaed by the OAE, of the estate account setup by Babcock, show a balance of $52,478,58 – intact since November 2011.
An email received by Paff from the OAE indicates that Babcock – as of March 4, 2016 – has failed to respond to the ethics complaint. Babcock was given twenty one days to respond to the complaint.
Real Jersey City was unable to contact Babcock for this story.