He was suspended without pay in October 1994 following his indictment on 20 federal counts, including bribery and money-laundering, in the state GTech lottery scandal. Prosecutors alleged that LaPorta and his consulting firm, Benchmark, were involved in a kickback scheme with GTech, which ran the state's lottery.
Since his aquittal in October, LaPorta has asked to be reinstated to his old job. In January, Assignment Judge Samuel DeSimone ordered the freeholders to conduct a hearing on the matter.
Weinberg, who retired last April, served as a Superior Court judge for 20 years. Prior to that, he worked for 17 years as an attorney in Gloucester, Camden and Burlington Counties.
While he was assigned to Gloucester County for two short stints to hear civil litigation cases, he has never dealt with the LaPorta issue, he said yesterday. ``That [hearing on LaPorta] would be completely foreign to any experience that I have had,'' he said.
County Counsel Bruce Hasbrouck said that as the hearing officer, Weinberg would listen to arguments from both sides and make a final report to the freeholders evaluating the arguments of both sides. The judge's report would not include a recommendation for action.