An ethics complaint made public on Thursday alleges that Phillipsburg, N.J., Municipal Judge Dennis Baptista used the power of his office to gain an advantage in a private dispute with another parent over damage to his son’s car.

New Jersey’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct charges that after the car was vandalized by another student at Phillipsburg High School, Baptista improperly enlisted the help of the town’s police department, whose officers regularly appear before him, to make contact with the parent of the other student, whom he chastised verbally and then sued. [Full text of complaint (pdf)]

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