To the editor:
I am writing regarding the upcoming 2013 Fourth Judicial District Supreme Court judicial elections. These important judges decide civil lawsuits - such as injuries, employment issues, foreclosures, civil rights, contract disputes and actions against local governments. Voters in each of the 11 counties in the Fourth District, from Schenectady County to Clinton County to St. Lawrence County, vote for these judges. Judges can live any place in the 11-county area and be assigned to another county where there is no residing judge.
Right now, neither Clinton nor Essex County has a judge who resides in those counties and sits in the respective courthouse. Essex County has two judges who visit from Warren County and Schenectady County. Clinton County has one judge who visits from Warren County. It costs taxpayers money for those judges to drive to Clinton and Essex counties. County Law Section 218 and Judiciary Law Section 222(a) require the expense of thousands of dollars to have judges from the southern counties travel to the North Country.
As a lawyer who litigates many civil cases in the Clinton County and Essex County Supreme Courts, I support attorney John Silvestri for Supreme Court judge. He lives in Essex County. If elected, he could be the full-time sitting judge in Elizabethtown. I support him because he is the most qualified person for the job, regardless of political party, and because he lives in Essex County.