Westchester prosecutor confirmed at chief judge for NY

  • Westchester prosecutor confirmed at chief judge for NY

Westchester prosecutor confirmed at chief judge for NY

The New York State Senate held a confirmation hearing for the governor's choice for the state's chief judge, Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

"Her commitment to the highest ethical standards makes her one of New York's finest public servants", he said. "I congratulate Chief Judge DiFiore on her confirmation, and look forward to seeing her lead the Court for years to come".

DiFiore, who had been district attorney since 2006, watched the Senate vote from the chamber's gallery, where she was joined by her family.

"I understand the limitations of executive authority", DiFiore said.

Garcia, 54, is a partner in the Manhattan office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, leading its government, regulatory and internal investigations practice. Garcia was nominated by Bush to be the US attorney, where he served form 2005 through 2008.

If Garcia and DiFiore are confirmed, Cuomo will have picked six of the seven judges on the court. Now, he will become an associate judge. Cuomo's previous five picks for the Court of Appeals had all been Democrats, a point of contention among some Republican senators. The term is 14 years, but DiFiore under current law would have to retire after a decade. "If confirmed, I am committed to continuing the Court's tradition of justice and fairness for all", Garcia said in a statement.

Another questioner found out that DiFiore has a permit to carry a concealed gun, while a third elicited a stunning vow from DiFiore that she would be independent. Thomas O'Mara, R-Big Flats, Chemung County.

No one asked about her service as a chair of the state's ethics commission. She was asked whether she would be able to independently rule on cases involving the executive branch.

"I think you're a human being of deep substance", Bonacic said. She replaces Jonathan Lippman, who turned 70 - the state's mandatory judicial retirement age - a year ago. "Each case will be decided on its merits".

DiFiore, answered, that as a former county court and state supreme court judge, she has a record of independence and impartiality, and expects that to continue. While the Senate was required by law to act on the nomination within 30 days, there was little appetite to call senators back to Albany before the legislative session began January 6. Garcia's name was one seven sent to the governor last month to fill the court vacancy.