Statement by Justice Anthony Benedict

Statement by Justice Anthony Benedict

To the residents of Airmont

A message from Airmont Village Justice Anthony J Benedict

As you know Airmont voters have the opportunity to go to the polls this coming Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Voting will take place at the Ramapo Town Hall.  The importance of your vote in this or any election is paramount to preserving the quality of life we enjoy in our village.

I have requested to make a few comments about myself and this year’s election.

In the mid 1990’s when the Village Board determined that it was essential to establish a justice court they selected me to be the first judge. I set up the court and over the years brought it to maturity. In the process I devoted innumerable hours of my time to make our court one of the most efficient and effective in Rockland County.

To that end we have established a coordinated system where both myself and our Associate Judge hold court simultaneously.  Thereby we have eliminated the need to have our court clerk and court officer present at multiple sessions. We established a process which permits individuals charged with Vehicle and Traffic or parking tickets to come in to the court to try to work out a plea reduction, saving the individual and the Village time and money.  Over the years I have implemented many similar policies to make our Court run seamlessly.

Comment was recently made by our opposition that the Associate Judge handles Local Law violations implying that our village is not receiving a fair shake.  No matter which judge presides over Local Law cases that judge must deal with each matter separately, independently and impartially.  A judge should not and must not be expected to favor one side or the other.  We in Airmont have been fortunate to have had two Associate Justices who have most ably and fairly handled Local Law cases over the years.

When we established the Court I asked Judge Goldman (a former planning board member) to handle the Local Law cases.  When he became Village Judge and I assumed Village Attorney responsibilities five years ago the Village Board selected Judge Reilly, a former county court judge, who likewise handled Local Law cases with her superb judicial skills.  By the way, the Village Board appoints the Associate Village Judge every year.  Also having been Village Attorney and prosecuted these Local Law cases it would not have been proper for me to judge those cases.  I might also add that under directives from the New York State Office of Court Administration the Village Judge is required to give priority to pending criminal matters.  Our court will continue to run efficiently under my supervision.

I believe that over the years I have demonstrated the experience, integrity and knowledge necessary to serve as our Village Judge.

I retired as Colonel in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps having served in Vietnam and the Army Reserve.  I continue on the Board of Directors and was elected President of the Bronx County Bar Association. Over my many years as a practicing attorney and judge I have participated in innumerable civil and criminal trials and proceedings.

As your Village Justice I do not enjoy being involved in political bantering. When the Airmont Future Party asked me to run on their ticket I declined as they would not consent to my name being placed on both ballots. After due consideration I determined that my best choice as well as that of our Village would be to run with the two individuals who can best serve our community.

I ask for your support on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

                                VOTE PRESERVE AIRMONT


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