We need another judge

Tyler Murphy

Judge Howard Sullivan has been handling double his regular case load for over fours years now. The Administrative Judge Judith O’Shea has personally written a memo to our state representative in the assembly and in the senate pleading with them to push for a second judgeship in Chenango County. Sullivan handled more cases last year in the county than any other except Broome which has two criminal judges and three family court judges. Most of our surrounding counties have about the same case loads as Chenango but they all have two judges.

Judge Sulivan is responsible for county, family and surrogate court. He also helped sponsor and operate a successful drug treatment court and had designs on a domestic violence court as well. O’Shea will not allow a the domestic violence court to be formed and denied the treatment court hub status because of the considerable constraints on the judge already. Sullivan should be given great credit for his performance in Chenango county. Politics and press aside for whatever you may or may not agree with, he has made incredible efforts to fulfill his responsibilities to the public.

I wonder how long will it be before Sullivans juggling act does degrade to a level that will inflict an injustice on the people of the county. One could hardly blame him for an error, the deck is stacked and many that might fill his shoes would have erred by now. The out cry has been made from the professionals surrounded by these sorts of things, maybe because they understand the potential for negative impacts better than the average lay man. The most powerful out cry of course comes from the public which in time may find itself so inclined if face with possibly of suffering at the hands of injustice, but not yet.