Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Judge found to have presided over judicial matters involving persons with whom he had a “close relationship” removed from office


Matter of Young, 2012 NY Slip Op 05089, Court of Appeals
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct sustained six charges of misconduct alleged against Lafayette D. Young, Jr., a Justice of the Macomb Town Court, St. Lawrence County, finding that he had engaged in serious misconduct when he presided over matters involving persons with whom he and his paramour had close relationships. The Commission determined that Judge Young should be removed from his office.*  
The Commission found that “In all cases, but one, [Judge Young] neither disqualified himself nor disclosed [his] relationship to the defendant or complaining witness. Additionally, in many of the cases at issue, Judge Young’s conduct gave the appearance of favoritism towards the Petrie family defendant or complaining witness.”
Moreover, the Court of Appeals said that  "ex partecommunications with[certain] parties further exacerbated Judge Young's improper conduct as they highlight his close relationships to the Petrie family and his partiality towards them."

Holding that "Such conduct demonstrates a misuse of his judicial office and damages public confidence in his integrity and impartiality," the Court of Appeals sustained the sanction imposed by the Commission: that Judge Young, removal from his position, as the appropriate penalty under the circumstances.
* See New York Constitution, Article VI, § 22; Judicial Law §44
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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