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Telling the truth in Bethel

November 3, 2011

Since you last elected me as your judge, I was pressured, but resisted the inappropriate demands by the court clerk and town supervisor. For years, the Court had been plagued by waste and misconduct. I insisted that we run the court according to the laws of New York State. I enlisted the support of the Judge Ceresia, Administrative Judg,e to help me correct the problems in the court. Scurrilous lies were fabricated about me, which were read publicly.

The supervisor sent complaints to the Commission on Judicial Conduct, who, for over two years, investigated to see if there was any merit to these accusations. Last year, the Commission and Judge Ceresia specifically noted a caseload and salary difference between me and my co-judge, as well as the town board’s refusal to supply me with a clerk.

Judge Ceresia responded by highlighting many issues, including the supervisor's inappropriate use of court grant monies and funds and the court clerk’s transfer of cases to my co-judge. This behavior created a caseload inequity between me and my co-judge. This led to the mistaken belief that somehow I was responsible for collecting less revenue. This also led to the fabricated rumor that litigants and attorneys preferred my co-judge.

Judge Ceresia asked to personally meet with the town board and my co-judge. They refused. In a nutshell, an employee of the court and the supervisor initially fabricated allegations against me, and the whole thing has landed back on his desk. He is now trying to flick it off his lap and sweep it under the rug. They have spun so many lies about the court that even now, should they decide to tell the truth, no one will believe them.

Howard Block
Kauneonga Lake, NY