July 13, 2016
The Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission (IJEQC) for the First Judicial District, comprising New York County, has completed its review of the candidates for judicial vacancies in that District and have published the rating for those candidates.
The criteria for evaluation under Part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge include “professional ability, character, independence and integrity, reputation for fairness and lack of bias, and temperament, including courtesy and patience.” The guidelines and procedures for the Commissions, including the information to be provided by each candidate, are set forth in Appendix A to Part 150.
Each Commission consists of fifteen members, including attorneys and lay people, selected by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Presiding Justices of each Appellate Division, the State Bar Association and local bar associations, and represents a cross section of the community in each district. Two Commissions were established to review the qualifications of candidates for judicial offices in the First Department, one for the First Judicial District, comprising New York County, and another for the Twelfth Judicial District, comprising Bronx County.
The Administrative Board authorized the Commissions to rate candidates “Highly Qualified,” as well as “Qualified” or “Not Found Qualified.”
This year, the IJEQC for the First Judicial District rated candidates seeking judicial offices in New York County as follows:
- Justice Rolando T. Acosta-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Judge Margaret A. Chan-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified; Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York-Highly Qualified
- Judge Erika McDaniel Edwards-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Susan Jill Hochberg, Esq.-Judge of the Civil Court, 6th J.D.-Qualified
- Justice Kelly O’Neill Levy-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Justice Ruth Pickholz-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Judge Eileen A. Rackower-Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York-Highly Qualified
- Justice Rosalyn H. Richter-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Judge J. Machelle Sweeting-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
Last year, the Commission rated the candidates as follows:
- Lisa S. Headley, Esq.-Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York-Highly Qualified.
- Justice Barbara R. Kapnick-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Judge Gerald Lebovits-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
In 2014, the Commission rated the candidates as follows:
- Justice Tanya R. Kennedy-Justice of the Supreme Court-Highly Qualified
- Judge Sabrina E. Kraus-Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York-Qualified
Candidates found “Highly Qualified” or “Qualified” for election to judicial office are deemed highly qualified or qualified for that office for three years in absence of any new information that may have negative effect of his or her qualifications and background, pursuant to Part 150, Appendix A, Section 3.
The members of the IJEQC for the First Judicial District are Peter Johnson, Jr., Esq., Chair, Leahey & Johnson, PC; Angel Cruz, Esq., Maldonado & Cruz, PLLC; Hon. Betty Weinberg Ellerin, Alston & Bird; Margaret J. Finerty, Esq., Getnick & Getnick; Peter Levine; Mercedes Nesfield; Carmen Pacheco, Esq., Pacheco & Lugo; Damaris Solis Padilla, Esq., New York City Bar Association; Ghillaine A. Reid, Esq., Shoeman Updike Kaufman & Stern LLP; and Elliot Wales, Esq.
For further information contact Rachell Sirota, Esq., Director, IJEQC at (212) 340-0572.