Municipal Judge Frank Leanza admits he shouldn’t have labeled a landlord’s excuses for ignoring summonses “a lot of bullshit” but says he was just overly frustrated with the man he characterized as a “slumlord” who for years ignored fines and orders to fix his apartment buildings.

During a hearing on Thursday, Leanza, a judge in Guttenberg, N.J., for 17 years, told the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct that his remark from the bench was spurred by acute frustration over a man who had contemptuously ignored court orders to fix his properties or to pay fines.