A judge has dismissed an indictment that accused a former southern New Jersey mayor of official misconduct.

The indictment handed up by an Atlantic County grand jury alleged Gary DeMarzo used public funds to pay personal legal and related expenses while serving as Wildwood's mayor.

But the judge ruled Wednesday that there was evidence -- not presented to the grand jury -- which showed other city officials approved a $20,000 budget item for legal expenses. Those costs were incurred when the city challenged DeMarzo's role as both a commissioner and city police officer.

The Press of Atlantic City reports the judge found the grand jury presentation was unfair, deprived the panel of its decision making function and was unconstitutional.

DeMarzo has claimed the indictment was politically motivated.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)