A New Jersey judge used an alias to post TikTok videos lip-syncing rap and pop songs with controversial lyrics, according to a judicial conduct complaint.
Superior Court Judge Gary Wilcox can be seen in some videos to be in the court house and wearing his judicial robes, the complaint by the state’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct said.
The 58-year-old allegedly posted around 40 videos under the alias ‘Sal Tortorella’ with many of them including references to violence, sex and misogyny and one post included the judge “partially dressed while lying in bed”, the complaint said.
It said in one video he wore a Beavis and Butt-Head T-shirt while walking through the courthouse as rapper Nas’ ‘Get Down’ played.
The song, the complaint said, included derogatory lyrics and made gang and drug references that included killing a doctor who treated a gang member.
Judge Wilcox, who attended Harvard Law School, has been practicing law in New Jersey since 1989 and works in Bergen County, according to the complaint.
It said in one post, Wilcox wore a Freedom of Speech T-shirt and lip-synced to a song that referred to spilling cognac on a $200 suit, the complaint said.
The complaint said the posts undermined public confidence in the judiciary and violated judicial rules.
Attorney Robert B Hille, who is representing Wilcox, said on Wednesday in an email he is preparing a response to the complaint.
Asked for comment on behalf of his client, he pointed to a statement he gave to The New York Times.
“I don’t think that at the end of the day anybody is going to believe there was any desire to do any harm here,” Mr Hille said. “Hindsight is 20-20.”
The videos were posted from 11 April 2021 to 4 March 2022, according to the complaint.
Northjersey.com reported Judge Wilcox has 20 days to submit a written or formal answer, although that time could be extended.
After it receives a response, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct will schedule a formal hearing.
The committee can issue private discipline, or it can ask the state Supreme Court to issue public discipline, from admonition, censure or suspension to removal from the bench, according to the state’s complaint procedures.