Former Superior Court Judge John Russo, who was removed from the bench last month over his insensitive remarks to a sexual assault victim, has been ordered to pay $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former law clerk.

The Attorney General’s Division of Law balked at paying the settlement to Valisha Desir because the agreement said the payment was compensation for her “personal physical injury and personal sickness.” But Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lisa Thornton rejected Russo’s argument, finding ample evidence the state’s outside counsel for Russo in the case, Susan Volkert, agreed to that language.

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