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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Judge-Elect, Indicted, Is Suspended by Court

The New York State Court of Appeals on Monday ordered the suspension of Judge-elect Nora S. Anderson while she faces criminal charges accusing her of committing financial fraud during her campaign to become a Surrogate’s Court judge in Manhattan.

The suspension will take effect on Thursday, the same day that Ms. Anderson was scheduled to take her seat on the bench, according to Gary Spencer, a spokesman for the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. A temporary replacement will be assigned by Ann Pfau, the state’s chief administrative judge.

The appeals court judges voted 6 to 0 to suspend Ms. Anderson, Mr. Spencer said. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye did not participate because she is going to retire from the court on Wednesday and will not be on the bench when the suspension takes effect.

In most instances, judges facing criminal charges are suspended with pay if the charges have nothing to do with their official duties on the bench, Mr. Spencer said.

A call to Ms. Anderson’s lawyer, Gustave H. Newman, was not returned.

In September, Ms. Anderson rode a well-financed campaign to victory in the Democratic primary in the Surrogate’s Court race. She beat Justice Milton Tingling and John J. Reddy Jr., a lawyer with the Manhattan public administrator’s office. Ms. Anderson was uncontested in the November general election.

This month she was indicted in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on charges that she had concealed the source of $250,000 worth of contributions to her campaign. Prosecutors with the Manhattan district attorney’s office also charged Seth Rubenstein — the head of the Brooklyn law firm where Ms. Anderson works, who also served as her campaign adviser — who they say funneled the money illegally to Ms. Anderson’s campaign account. [Mark Godsey]

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