Trista Gordon, by law, would have to recuse herself

One wonders how many arraignments and cases town of Perth justice candidate Trista Gordon, if elected, could ever hear and rule on, considering her brother is a full-time Fulton County public defender.

On Dec. 7, 2017, the NYS Committee on Judicial Ethics issued opinion 17-150, located on their website, regarding what justices must do when a second-degree relative serves as a non-supervising Assistant Public Defender. This opinion reads, “A judge whose second-degree relative serves as a non-supervisory public defender is (A) disqualified without the possibility of remittal from cases in which his/her relative personally appears in the courtroom as counsel and also (B) in cases where his/her relative participates as counsel behind the scenes but does not personally appear in the courtroom and is not the attorney of record, and (C) a judge who knows he/she must disqualify him/herself in a particular case must do so at the outset, and may not first conduct an arraignment or sign a search warrant application.”

It appears she would have to recuse herself from all after-hours arraignments involving the Public Defender Office and all public defender cases in which her brother has any involvement, even cases other public defenders may have only casually discussed with him.

How useful a town justice would that be?


Perth town resident

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