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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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County Case to Past Wildwood Resident

By Christine Cote

COURT HOUSE – The judge who will decide the county’s prosecutor-freeholder dispute – with a  potential multi-million dollar cost to taxpayers -is no stranger to Cape May County.
Acting Assignment Judge William C. Todd grew up in Wildwood and is a 1966 graduate of Wildwood High School.
A state superior court judge since 1993, Todd will be presiding over the petition filed by  Democratic Prosecutor Robert Taylor against the county Republican Board of Freeholders for added funding when it comes to court here in May.
Todd is assigned to general equity matters on the civil side of the bench and typically sits in the Atlantic City courthouse. But when Assignment Judge Valerie Armstrong is unable to hear a matter due to a conflict, Todd steps in and gains the title as acting assignment judge.
In the case he’ll be hearing next month, it is mandated by statute that the assignment judge of the county hear it. He told the Herald it was the first time he’s heard this type of case. There are reportedly few of them ever raised in the state.
Taylor’s petition was submitted to the state attorney general’s office and received approval from that office to file it with the court once the freeholders budget process was complete and they had an opportunity to address Taylor’s request for more money to increase staff. In his petition he also sites a lack of sufficient space.
Todd, who obviously cannot comment on a case pending before him, held a scheduling conference on March 23 and has set May 8, 9 and 11 as hearing dates.
After getting a college degree from Cornell University and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Todd served as a law clerk for the late Judge George Francis, while he was assignment judge.
He lived here in the county seat while practicing law in Atlantic City, first with the firm of Jacobs, Todd and Bruno from 1977 until 1988, then on his own until he was named to the bench by Gov. James Florio.
His law practice mainly involved matrimonial and personal injury work. Before becoming a superior court judge, he served as municipal court judge in the City of Absecon.
During his first seven years on superior court, Todd heard family court cases. He then became the presiding judge in civil matters before being assigned to the general equity last year.
Contact Cote at (609) 886-8600 Ext 31 or: ccote@cmcherald.com

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