The complaint alleged that when Nocella submitted a September 2011 update evaluation questionnaire, he "failed to disclose multiple facts" that changed answers to questions that had been posed on a Feb. 5, 2009, questionnaire when Nocella was a judge of Municipal Court and a candidate for re-election.
Nocella allegedly signed a certification statement with the update that did not include any new information that would change answers to questions on the 2009 questionnaire, including whether he had been named as a defendant or a party to any criminal or civil matter.
The complaint said that Nocella failed to disclose - or to subsequently inform an investigative panel during an October 2011 interview - that he had been found in contempt of two court orders regarding a Philadelphia Board of Ethics matter, which was subsequently settled for $16,000 in November 2009.
Nocella also allegedly failed to disclose two IRS liens filed against him in March 2011 for more than $469,000; two creditor judgments filed against him in April and May 2011 for more than $1.2 million; and a June 2011 Chapter 13 voluntary-bankruptcy petition he filed in June 2011 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Nocella's attorney, Samuel C. Stretton, said that the complaint "can be resolved in a reasonable way," adding: "This has nothing to do with his judicial duties or his performance as a judge. He's a very good judge and very well-respected. He might have made some mistakes, but they're not fatal."
Contact Michael Hinkelman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-854-2656. Follow him on Twitter @MHinkelman.