QUEENSBURY- Newly elected State Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller has said he'd like to have his offices located in downtown Glens Falls, but Warren County officials said this week they are likely to site his workplace at the county Municipal Center in Queensbury.
This last week, Warren County officials rejected a proposal which would have approved the lease of office space in the Civic Center Plaza in Glens Falls for Muller.
Instead, county officials said they are going to make room in the existing cramped wing of the Municipal Center that now houses three court systems with space that is deemed to be inadequate for the work now being conducted there.
Citing state mandates, the need for a security checkpoints and budgetary restraints, the supervisors said they are now looking at the Municipal Center to provide the headquarters for Muller.
Muller had requested that the county enter a lease agreement for roughly $32,000 annually for the 2,400 square foot Trustco space.
New York State law mandates that the Justice's home county provide class-A office space, which includes a board room, bathroom, kitchen area and library, Warren County Attorney Paul Dusek said.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Monroe said that he had suggested to Muller that he consider other, less expensive Glens Falls sites than the Civic Center Plaza including the former CNA building and the Empire building.
"If you add up what the state requires it works out to be about 1,300 square feet," Monroe said. "The judge has told me that he would prefer 2,000 square feet."
County supervisors said that Muller's request was excessive and not in the best interest of taxpayers.
"I think the judge is shooting a little high right out of the gate," said Queensbury Supervisor Dan Stec. "I believe that space in this building (the county municipal center) could be found."
Stec and others also proposed remodeling a section of the former county jail, which is now vacant, and was slated to be demolished.
Muller said that the Civic Center Plaza site - where a Trustco bank branch was once located, would provide a space that is on-par with other state Supreme Court justices.
Last week, Fourth Judicial District Administrative Judge Vito Caruso told Monroe that he preferred to have Muller's office at the municipal center. Renovations need to be made to the court wing in order to meet state mandates, but some of the cost may be covered by the state Office of Court Administration, Monroe said Wednesday.
"Several spaces at the Municipal Center look promising," Monroe said.
Supervisors said they are pleased with this course of action, stating that the Trustco site was simply too expensive.
Muller was elected in November to a 14-year term.