So now you complain about the cooked election for judges? Where were your reporters and your editorial writers before Election Day? Asleep and rewriting press releases.
First, the political bosses technically don’t elect most of the judicial nominees: They are selected by delegates to “Judicial Conventions” held after the state party primaries by delegates who are elected by the respective party voters.
They are rarely challenged, so there are very few elections for them. On the Island, there have been a handful of primaries in the Conservative Party as well as in New York City by Reform Democrats challenging the official party picks.
Consider a few outrages from the Nov. 8 ballot:
Frank Tinari, 68, a former Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman, was cross-endorsed and will become a Supreme Court justice in January. Due to the state constitution, he won’t be able to serve past 70, which will present another vacancy.
Lisa Cairo, 45, the daughter of Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Cairo, who is also the highly paid chairman of Nassau OTB, will shift from Family Court to Supreme Court. And the Democratic spouse of her former law partner, Stephen Schlesinger, is Judge Caryn Fink, 55, in Nassau County Court.
Fink had been law secretary to Helene Gugerty, 59, who was just re-elected to Nassau County Court, although she has been an acting Supreme Court Justice.
Her spouse, David Gugerty, 60, already sits as a Supreme Court justice. Before that, he was Democratic Nassau County Elections commissioner.So at the Gugerty home, it’s all in the family.
Do we need to continue?
The system is completely cooked. It’s time to eliminate judicial elections, have the best lawyers screened and appointed.
But this will never happen so long as the bosses control Albany and the county parties and use judicial nominations as a vehicle to generate cash and candidates.