CBS Local — A New Jersey judge who was filmed arguing with police after being arrested for drunk driving is now facing charges of ethics violations. The new allegations come after Judge Wilfredo Benitez beat DWI charges, even though he was filmed screaming “I’m a f—ing judge” in an impaired state.
Benitez, a municipal judge in East Orange, Belleville, and Bloomfield in Essex County, was approached by New Jersey state troopers after finding him slumped over on the side of the road in November 2016. NJ.com obtained police dashboard video of the incident which shows troopers Justin Kearns and Danny Kim arresting the judge after Benitez failed a sobriety test and changed his story about where he was going several times.
Although Judge Benitez’s blood-alcohol level was reportedly twice the legal limit, he was found not guilty after the judge in his case threw the results of the test out. The decision was reportedly made because of a technicality that requires officers to prove that they watched a driver for 20 minutes straight before giving them a breath test.
The incident and the video is now part of a new ethics complaint against the New Jersey judge who is being accused of abusing his position. The embattled judge will now have to face the state Supreme Court’s committee on Judicial Conduct to defend his actions. Benitez claims he only brought up his status as a judge – while cursing at the officers – because the handcuffs he was placed in where hurting his wrists.