Judge Leticia Astacio was officially removed from the bench yesterday and Mayor Lovely Warren says she’s working on filling the vacancy.
In April the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct had recommended that Astacio be removed from the court after multiple infractions starting with a 2016 misdemeanor drunk driving arrest.
Astacio’s attorneys appealed the case but the NY State Court of Appeals ruled unanimously against her yesterday.
According to the City Charter and New York State law, the Mayor of Rochester has the power to appoint a new City Court Judge when a vacancy occurs in that court.
“Rochester’s City Court is the court with jurisdiction closest to our citizens and I take my responsibility to fill the vacancy on this Court very seriously,” said Mayor Warren. “Our residents deserve a Judge of the highest caliber and I intend to follow a process that will be transparent and inclusive in finding the best and highest qualified individual to sit on the Rochester City Court bench.”
Warren says she will appoint a Judicial Screening Committee to solicit resumes and conduct interviews of local attorneys interested in being appointed to the position.
Headed by the city’s Corporation Counsel, Warren says the screening committee will include a community member at-large; the President of the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys (GRAWA) or their designee; the President of the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA) or their designee; the President of the Monroe County Bar Association (RBA) or their designee; a retired local judge; and a practicing local attorney.
Warren is asking the committee to complete their work within 30-60 days and turn over three names to her for consideration to fill the City Court Judicial vacancy.
Given the timing of the current court vacancy, a newly appointed judge will stand for election in 2019.
Astacio’s problems are not over. She still faces felony gun charges in connection with her attempt to purchase a firearm at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Henrietta.
“It was about time,” noted Dr. James Maxwell, Rochester neurosurgeon and Republican candidate for New York’s 25th Congressional District said. “Astacio’s outrageous behavior, from drunk driving to endless probation violations, certainly disqualified her from being on the bench.”
Given the timing of the current court vacancy, a newly appointed judge will most likely stand for election in 2019.