Superior Court Judge Gerald Council faces an ethics complaint for releasing his second cousin, Celeste Jones, from jail last December. Jones, who was being held on aggravated assault charges, is the granddaughter of Jones's uncle. She was released on her own recognizance.
According to published reports, Council recused himself when he released it was his cousin appearing before him on a video conference from the county jail. But when the prosecutor explained that the charges had been reduced to simple assault, and that the holiday schedule would otherwise require her to stay in jail for several extra days, he approved her release.
Council has tenure; he has been on the bench since 1998, after a career that included two years as Assistant Counsel to Gov. Thomas Kean, and as Ewing municipal prosecutor and general counsel to the Trenton Housing Authority.