MAHWAH, N.J. -- Mahwah Municipal Court Judge Anthony Joseph Gianni Jr. died on Wednesday, Feb. 8. He was 75.
"He was a great man, and he's going to be missed." Matthew Miller told Daily Voice. Miller is a Mahwah public defender and lawyer in Ramsey who had regularly appeared in Gianni's courtroom over the past several years.
"He was loved by the court staff and the people that appeared before him."
Gianni had graduated from Don Bosco, Villanova University and the Seton Hall University School of Law. He was a partner in the Allendale law firm of Scafuro & Gianni, practicing civil law.
He was widely known in his role of municipal court judge in Mahwah -- a role he had for 47 years.
Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet posted a remembrance to Facebook on Friday. He noted that Gianni was one of the longest-serving municipal judges in Bergen County.
Tony was a true public servant who dedicated his life as judge to our community. He was highly respected and honored by the police officers and Mahwah Police Department who worked with him most every day. Judge Gianni was a good man who had a big heart and cared about Mahwah.
"I think it speaks volumes about Judge Gianni, and how well he conducted his courtroom, when both the prosecutor and defender express their condolences about how fair and dignified the judge was," Miller said.
Both he and Municipal Prosecutor Dennis Harraka were among the many people -- including colleagues, family members and old classmates -- who posted condolences on the funeral home website.
"He was scrupulously fair, and he treated everyone with respect," Miller added. "Everyone respected him as a jurist and a person."
No matter how guilty or not guilty your client was, or what type a person your client was, you knew your client was always going to get a fair shake. It was a pleasure to go to that court.
Laforet also noted that township flags will remain at half-mast until Thursday afternoon, in remembrance of Gianni, as well as former mayor Bob Howard, who also died in the past week.
Gianni is survived by his wife, Dolores; children Anthony, Joseph and Victoria Miller; and grandchildren Anthony, Gianna, Sienna, Luca, Mateo and Isabella.
A funeral mass was celebrated on Monday morning, Feb. 13, at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, in Ramsey. Interment was in George Washington Memorial Park, in Paramus. The Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home, in Ramsey, assisted with arrangements.