January 04, 2005

Judge's private meeting leads to censure

Troy Record

By: Robert Cristo, The Record 01/04/2005

ALBANY - State Supreme Court Judge Joseph C. Teresi was reprimanded by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct Monday for failing to disclose he spoke privately to a defense witness who then withdrew from testifying in a 2003 DWI case.

It is the second time in three years the Commission on Judicial Conduct has censured Teresi. This time the censure was for having an ex-parte (or private contact without attorney knowledge) discussion in his chambers with a witness scheduled to appear before him later that day. ...

Also in 2003, he recused himself from a controversial, high-profile case of alleged sexual abuse of children by priests because he felt he was becoming a "public focus of these cases," and the "attention is not beneficial to the plaintiffs or defendants," he wrote in a public statement at the time.

Teresi came under fire that time after the defense attorney in the case, John Aretakis, accused the judge of communicating with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and its attorneys without his knowledge.

Today, Aretakis contends that this latest reprimand of Teresi only confirms his criticisms of the judge, but he is still "disappointed" that the commission only gave him what amounts to a scolding for a second time in three years.
do with the DWI case.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2005 03:40 AM