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Passaic County Surrogate Permanently Barred from Public Employment for Allegedly Falsifying Judgment

By rlsmetro on
Passaic County

Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today that on June 21, 2022, the Honorable Carol V. Novey Catuogno ordered that former Passaic County Surrogate Bernice Toledo is to be permanently barred from any and all future public employment in the State of New Jersey and any of its administrative subdivisions and admitted Toledo to the Pretrial Intervention Program. 

On August 26, 2021, Toledo was charged by complaint with fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records for allegedly falsifying a judgment she filed in order to make an improper appointment of an estate administrator.  

The charge was the result of an investigation by the OPIA Corruption Bureau, which began with a referral from the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (“ACJC”), which has an open ethics complaint in this matter.  

On June 22, 2017, Toledo filed a judgment granting administration of the estate of a deceased person to a personal acquaintance of Toledo who was not related to the decedent.

Toledo allegedly falsified the judgment by stating that all of the competent adult next of kin and other persons with a prior right to administer the estate had renounced their right to administration.

In reality, a relative of the decedent who had a prior right of administration had not renounced her right and instead had made her right known to Toledo by appearing before her in person before Toledo signed and filed the judgment.  

Deputy Attorneys General Eric Cohen and Caroline Oliveira are prosecuting the case for the OPIA Corruption Bureau under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. Acting Attorney General Platkin thanked the ACJC for their referral.  

Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a criminal fine of up to $10,000.