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Astacio inquires about running for elected office

March 05, 2019 08:39 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio inquired about running for Rochester City Council and Rochester City Court.

The Democratic deputy commissioner at the Monroe County Board of Elections told News10NBC that Astacio asked Monday about getting a list of registered Democrats. It's commonly called a "walk list." 

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Dep. Democratic Commissioner Colleen Anderson told us Astacio inquired about Rochester City Court judge and the Northwest City Council District.

News10NBC reached out to Astacio through Facebook Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday night, Astacio responded to News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean saying she would talk about her plans when she makes a decision. 

On Feb. 25, Astacio posted the following message on Facebook: "Teamastacio? Are you ready to put your money, action, support where your mouth is? I may need you, and call upon you very soon." 

News10NBC was repeatedly told by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct that if a judge is removed from the bench, the judge is prohibited from running for any other judge position again.

The New York State Constitution says "a judge or justice removed by the Court of Appeals shall be ineligible to hold other judicial offices."  [Go to page 21, and look for section "H" at the top left corner of the page.]

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Is someone like Leticia Astacio legally allowed to run for city court judge or any judge position?"

Robert Tembeckjian, NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct: "Under the New York State Constitution, a judge who has been removed from office in New York state is ineligible to be a judge again." 

Brean: "Does it prohibit her from running for a different office like Rochester City Council?"

Tembeckjian: "No, the only prohibition on a removed judge is that that individual cannot be a judge again, but they are eligible to run for other public offices if they wish."

Astacio was removed as a city court judge in October 2018.

The New York State Court of Appeals denied her appeal to overturn the ruling of the Commission on Judicial Conduct which, in the spring of 2018, decided Astacio should be removed from the bench.

Astacio was convicted of DWI in August 2016 and was then found guilty of violating the terms of her DWI sentence twice. She spent several weeks in jail for those violations in the summer of 2017. 

In April 2018, the commission outlined the charges against Astacio: 

  • Charge one: Her DWI conviction. 
  • Charge two: She used her office as a judge at the time of her arrest "in an attempt to evade the consequences of her arrest," Tembeckjian said. 
  • Charge three: Violating her DWI sentence. 
  • Charge four: The fact that she arraigned a former client when she was a judge, and said, "I totally love him. I'm so sad he's in jail right now."
  • Charge five: She made undignified comments in four cases as a judge, including one about a victim in a sex abuse case, "repeating a remark made by an attorney that the alleged victim had 'buyer's remorse.'" Tembeckjian said. "And later saying she thought it was 'freakin' hilarious.'"

Astacio is facing trial for illegally trying to purchase a shotgun while she was on probation for violating the terms of her DWI sentence. The trial begins on April 1.  

The Monroe County Board of Elections told News10NBC that Astacio has yet to declare a candidacy for either city council or city court. 

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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