08:22, June 06 42 0 abajournal.com

2019-06-06 08:22:07
Town justice resigns after allegedly saying he’d like to see defendants ‘swinging outside the door’

resignation suit letter

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A town justice who allegedly asserted that he would like to see many criminal defendants “swinging outside the door” has resolved an ethics complaint against him by resigning and agreeing never to seek judicial office in the future.

The nonlawyer town justice, Scott Stone, worked in Butler Town Court and Wolcott Village Court in New York, report the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the New York Post and 13 Wham.

He is accused of making several statements conveying a disdain for the legal process during an October 2015 discussion about crime at a village board meeting, according to a June 4 press release by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Those alleged statements are:

• “To start with, the whole system, quite frankly, sucks.”

• “If they are a minor, I’m never going to see them because they are going to family court.”

• “After five days, if the county decides not to do [a] preliminary hearing, I have to release them. It doesn’t matter, it’s not my choice. It’s a lawyers’ world.”

• “Most of these individuals, if I had my way, you’d see them probably swinging outside the door, OK? That’s the way I was brought up.”

• “But thanks to lawyers, everybody has rights.”

The statements were reported by a local publication, the Lakeshore News, according to the complaint against Stone that was attached to a stipulation in the case.

The state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct accepted the stipulation May 30 and dropped the ethics case against Stone.

The stipulation says Stone “undermined public confidence in the fair and impartial administration of justice and the integrity of the judicial process, in that his statements conveyed disdain for certain laws and aspects of legal process, a predisposition to presume defendants guilty, and personal annoyance with lawyers who represent criminal defendants.”

Stone’s lawyer, Douglas Michael Jablonski, didn’t immediately respond to the ABA Journal’s request for comment.