Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Health and Wellness

Red Bank YMCA

At the heart of the Red Bank community since 1874, our Red Bank Family YMCA is here to support health and well-being for all. We’re a special place where people of all ages, interests and backgrounds gather to grow in spirit, mind and body.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

RUMSON: JUDGE ADMITS $500K SCHEME

hot-topic_03-220x138-2130637Rumson’s former municipal court judge has pleaded guilty to a five-year scheme in which he diverted to local coffers more than $500,000 that should have gone to Monmouth County, according to an announcement Friday by the county prosecutor.

Richard B. Thompson, 62, a Middletown attorney who also served as municipal judge in eight other towns, pleaded guilty to falsifying records in more than 4,000 cases as part of a scheme of fixing municipal court dispositions to benefit several municipalities where he served as a judge, Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in the announcement.

His apparent aim: to curry favor with local officials who appointed him, Gramiccioni said.

Appearing in court before presiding Criminal Court Judge David F. Bauman in Freehold, Thompson admitted that on numerous from January 2010 to October 2015, he suspended fines he issued in connection with the disposition of motor vehicle tickets and improperly converted those monies to contempt of court assessments, Gramiccioni said.

“Thompson further admitted that the purpose of this scheme was to steer monies to the municipalities that employed him as a municipal court judge, and these actions deprived Monmouth County of monies it would otherwise be entitled to under state law,” he said.

From the announcement:

Thompson was suspended from his judicial duties in Bradley Beach, Colts Neck, Eatontown, Middletown, Neptune City, Oceanport, Rumson, Tinton Falls and Union Beach by Monmouth County Assignment Judge Lisa P. Thornton on October 23, 2015.

A two-year investigation by this Office’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit revealed that Judge Thompson suspended fines and converted monies to contempt of court in approximately 4,000 municipal court matters throughout his nine towns.  To effectuate the scheme, Thompson improperly converted fines adjudged on motor vehicle citations to contempt of court sanctions when there was no legal basis to do so.  In certain instances, Thompson would inaccurately state that a defendant issued a traffic citation was held in contempt of court, and write such findings on citations when there was no legal basis to do so. In an effort to conceal the scheme and prevent its detection, Thompson committed these acts after citizens and, in some cases, attorneys had already departed the courtroom.

New Jersey law permits a judge to hold an individual in contempt for various reasons including failure to appear before the court and disrupting court proceedings.  The law further provides specific requirements that must be followed before a judge may hold someone in contempt of court, including giving the individual an opportunity to be heard.

According to state law, monetary fines levied in municipal court for motor vehicle offenses are split equally (“50-50”) between the municipality and county.  However, contempt of court fines are fully retained by municipalities. In instances where motor vehicle citations are issued by New Jersey State Police troopers, 100 percent of the monetary fines are given to the state treasury, according to the law.

Thompson’s conduct unfairly benefitted the towns where he served at the expense of the county’s treasury. As a result, between January 1, 2010 and the date of his suspension on October 23, 2015, Thompson unlawfully diverted more than half a million dollars in fine money from Monmouth County to the municipalities where he sat on the bench. As such, Thompson’s conduct was likely to curry favor with the municipalities that continued to employ him as a judge, allowing him to retain his seat on the various municipal courts for many years.

“County residents who appear before judges do so with the rightful expectation that those entrusted with black robes will be honest and forthright, and uphold the highest principles of integrity.  Our legal system depends on this public trust and confidence, and we reference judges as ‘Your Honor’ for this very reason.  Thompson’s persistent disregard for these principles, and manipulation of the municipal court system, betrayed this sacred trust,” Gramiccioni stated.

Judge Thompson could face a sentence of eighteen months in prison, but his plea agreement calls for non-custodial probation and allows him to apply to the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program. As part of his plea, Thompson is forever disqualified from being a municipal court judge or holding any other public employment.

Thompson was suspended from all nine benches in October, 2015 pending an investigation by New Jersey’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct. The underlying reason for the suspensions was not publicly known at the time.

According to an Asbury Park Press report at the time of the suspensions, Thompson sat in Bradley Beach, Colts Neck, Eatontown, Middletown, Neptune City, Oceanport, Tinton Falls and Union Beach, in addition to Rumson, and  earned $217,500 from judgeships in 2014, when he was on the bench  in six municipalities.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.
COMMUNITY PROFILES
For Black History Month, Red Bank's Community Engagement and Equity Advisory Committee has been running a series of local profiles on Facebo ...
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...