The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct released its annual report for 2011 today, and while there were fewer investigations conducted this year, the ones that were done prompted 15 judges to resign from office.
The resignations made up less than one-half of 1 percent of the roughly 3,500 judges and justices in the New York State courts. Last year, 14 judges resigned from offices after becoming targets of the commission’s investigators.
The commission reported that it processed 1,818 new complaints in 2011, which is fewer than the record number of 2,025 in 2010 but still the fourth highest in its 34-year history. Every one of the 1,818 complaints was reviewed by staff members, but only 172 investigations were launched — the lowest number of new investigations in the past 10 years. Those 172 cases were added to the 195 investigations that rolled into 2011 from the previous year.
Of the 15 judges that left the bench, 10 of them resigned while complaints were pending, and the others left while under formal charges. Only two upstate town justices were recommended for removal by the commission. Others were publicly censured.
None of the judges who resigned were from Westchester, Rockland or Putnam counties. How many judges in the tri-county area were investigated is unknown, because the Judicial Conduct Commission does not reveal the names of those judges unless they are censured or recommended for dismissal.
To read the full report, go to www.cjc.ny.gov