Editor’s Note: The author, a Yonkers resident, has informed the following oversight bodies, as delineated below, of his concern. To each body noted, the content of the letter is the same. He has also undersigned each document.
New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct
61 Broadway- Suite 1200
New York, NY 10006
Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District
399 Knollwood Road, Suite 200
White Plains, NY 10603
New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Headquarters
1 Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207
Westchester County Bar Association
4 Westchester Park Drive – Suite 155
White Plains, NY 10604
YONKERS, NY — June 14, 2020 — The cornerstone of sound and stable government is an independent and honorable judiciary to insure the true administration of justice for our society. Judges are required to maintain and enforce the highest standards of conduct and are obligated to personally observe such standards, so that the integrity and the independence of the judiciary are honored and never questioned. Accordingly, a judge, or a candidate for that office, shall respect and comply with the law at all times so as to not erode public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Courts. A lawyer or judge shall not knowingly make false statements or comments about the qualifications, conduct or integrity of lawyers, judges or candidates for judicial offices.
The current campaign slogan being used by Yonkers City Court Judicial Candidates Daly, Shako & McGrath, “#protectyourbench” by clear implication, violates these principles as they are embodied in sections 22 NYCRR section 100.1, 100.2, 100.4 and New York Ct. Rules 100.5. Without any basis, in fact, “#protectyourbench” states that the Yonkers City Court “Bench” needs to be protected from all other legitimate candidates competing for the office. Such coarse and misleading political commentary and tactics may have become commonplace for other political races in our country, but are totally inappropriate and damaging to the integrity of the Courts and the confidence of the public, in the men and women who were ultimately elected to the bench. This type of inappropriate conduct slowly, but steadily erodes public trust in our judicial institutions and confidence in our judicial officers.
Now, more than ever, such statements and tactics cannot be tolerated or ignored. Accordingly, Judicial Candidates Daly, Shako & McGrath should be immediately directed to cease and desist from the use of this slogan and be publicly censured for their obvious and intentional violation of the Canons of Judicial Conduct and New York State Rules of Court.
/s/ Pedro Blanco