Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today's Advertiser has a letter detailing the failure of a Republican Committee person to resign as a member of the County GOP Committee upon her appointment to the bench. Stephanie Piel is an elected committee person in ED 5 North Greenbush. She was appointed to the town bench by Town Board Conservatives last May in an apparent quid pro quo for the GOP endorsement of their candidacies. There is also an ad in the Advertiser which reprints the actual email discussed in the letter scaned above which calls on Piel to resign either her judgeship or her partisan committee seat.
The GOP appointee was and is a member of the Republican Committee in Election District 5 North Greenbush. So ill prepared was she for the bench that she neglected her most basic obligation as a judge, to resign from her political committee post. Since May, she has been dispensing "justice" from the bench as a member of the County Republican Committee, a membership every judge is forbidden to hold under the Judicial Canons of Ethics.
The sight of justice in North Greenbush has a distinctly partisan flavor with a Republican Committeeman, Charles Rockwell, wearing a court uniform, badge and gun, ushering in folks to see his fellow Republican Committee person, who wears a black robe and is an appointed judge. Perhaps along the way, they get to talk with one of the appointed deputy town attorneys, one with a criminal conviction record and the other a former Troy judge who was removed from the bench for misconduct.
That's the picture Town Republicans and Conservatives have painted of the North Greenbush Town Courts with their current Board Majority. It's hardly pretty, but Ms. Piel can after 5 months sitting on the bench, take a long overdue step to correct one aspect of this picture by resigning from the Republican County Committee seat she still retains absent submitting a letter of resignation to the Rensselaer County Board of Elections which as of this morning is not filed.
We have been informed that the Commission on Judicial Conduct has been asked to examine the matter and it's decision is not in doubt. The only question is whether they will admonish and direct her to resign from the Republican Committee or remove her from the bench for continuing to refuse to do so. It is obvious that this appointee did not take the time to read the Judicial Canons governing the conduct of judges before or after she was appointed by Mr's. Evers, Desso and Kern. Five months is a long time not to read the rules of the job of a Town Justice. Voters are now familiar with the rules and will likely make their decision before the Commission acts.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 9:36 PM