SCHUYLER FALLS — Faced with an array of accusations of misconduct, Schuyler Falls Town Justice Richard Reome resigned from his post.
The accusations against the 76-year-old, who admitted no wrongdoing, ranged from ex-parte communications to showing bias toward law enforcement.
Reome, who is a Republican, had been a town justice since 1998. He said he was resigning due to deteriorating health.
The state Commission on Judicial Conduct settled the issue with Reome after he agreed to resign and not to seek or accept judicial office in the future.
The Formal Written Complaint dated Feb. 3, 2012, charged that Reome engaged in judicial misconduct in his handling of cases on or between April 2, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2010.
The commission charged that in seven cases, Reome “engaged in and/or considered and/or relied upon improper ex-parte communications; in seven cases respondent expressed bias in favor of law enforcement officers and/or bias against defendants; in two cases, respondent reduced charges against defendants without the consent of the district attorney; and in six cases, respondent misinformed defendants that they were not entitled to court-appointed attorneys, apparently based upon his misconstruing the right to counsel in some charges below the misdemeanor level, and/or failed to inform them of their right to plead guilty and demand supporting depositions from officers; in two cases, respondent allowed and considered unsworn testimony; in two cases he found defendants guilty of zoning/housing violations without conducting a trial; in some cases he engaged in inappropriate questioning of defendants at their arraignments; and in one case he failed to rule on a motion to dismiss the charge against the defendant.”
During the proceedings before the Commission, Reome was represented by Darrell Brown of Plattsburgh.
Reome denied any wrongdoing and tendered his resignation as part of an agreement that the issue would proceed no further.
His term would have expired at the end of 2013.
Reome, who has been a part-time judge since 1998 and is not an attorney, cited in his resignation letter “deteriorating health condition and other considerations” as his reasons for stepping down.
The proceedings were discontinued and the matter closed on May 3, 2012.
A special election for a full four-year term will be held in November.