YONKERS, NY — August 20, 2018 — At its recent graduation ceremony, there were five new graduates of the Yonkers Drug Treatment Court, a semi- annual event that has taken place since the creation and implementation of the program in 2001.
According to Chief Judge Michael A. Martinelli, who presided over the graduation with Judge Arthur J Doran III. Participants in the program, enter voluntarily by pleading guilty to the criminal charges that they are accused of. They are then required to complete a minimum of one year’s supervision by the Drug Court Team in order for them to be eligible to have their guilty pleas vacated and the charges against them dismissed.
Judge Martinelli added, “Each participant must agree that if they fail to complete their supervised treatment the will receive exactly the same sentence they would have received had they not been a successful participant and that would mean a drug conviction and jail time in the Westchester Penitentiary.”
Judge Martinelli also pointed out that the treatment programs are offered with the full acquiescence of the Westchester County District Attorney’s office and is limited only to those defendants charged with non -violent drug possession or other similarly related criminal offenses.
Judge Martinelli noted, “That at the inception of the drug court program, seventeen years ago, it was viewed as experimental and was the only one of its kind in the metropolitan New York area. It was initially limited to the Yonkers and Mount Vernon City Courts.” Judge Martinelli, together with his colleague, Judge Arthur Doran, said, “That they firmly believe that “rehabilitation rather than incarceration” is a win-win, not only for the individual participants in the program, but also for their friends, family members, Yonkers taxpayers, and the entire Yonkers Community. In my twenty-two plus years on the Yonkers City Court Bench, nothing has given me greater personal satisfaction than to have the parents of a graduate or the graduate themselves, thank our team for giving them their life back.”
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About Judge Mike Martinelli
Yonkers City Court Chief Administrative Judge Mike Martinelli is a candidate for the New York State Supreme Court in the 9th Judicial District, which encompasses Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange Counties.
Mike was born in Mount Vernon, NY, the eldest of six sons to former Yonkers Mayor Angelo and Carol Martinelli. He grew up in a nurturing Italian home, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family. No occasion or holiday was too small for celebration. He and his family moved to Yonkers when Mike was 10, and has lived there ever since.
He attended and graduated Mount St. Michael Academy, University of Notre Dame (BA) and St. John’s University School of Law (JD). He is married to the former Jeanne Vergari for the past 43 years, and together they are the proud parents of daughter Jeanette, and son and daughter-in-law, Mike, Jr. and Jeanna. They are the doting grandparents of Stefano, age 11, whose special needs have now taken them to new awareness of autism, Angelo, age 2, and are expecting a granddaughter in October.
Prior to taking the Bench in 1996, he enjoyed a 20-year career as a litigator specializing in commercial, real estate, criminal and zoning law. The Yonkers City Court is one of the busiest courts in the state, where he has presided over countless criminal and civil trials, jury and non-jury, as well as the “problem solving” Drug Court and Human Trafficking Part, all in a firm, fair, expeditious and courteous manner. In addition to judicial duties, since 2008, he is the administrative judge of the court supervising 6 other judges and a staff of over 50 clerks, stenographers and court attorneys. He also serves as an Acting Westchester County Court Judge.
Mike is involved with Professional and Community Organizations and is a member and past President of both the Yonkers Lawyers Association and Columbian Lawyers Association. He is the Vice President of the Community Planning Council of Yonkers and a long time Little League Coach in Yonkers. He is a parishioner of the Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart, Yonkers, NY, a member of John D. Calandra Lodge No. 2600, and a lifelong fan of the Yankees, all things Fighting Irish and good music.