Independence Party Members: This year you have the opportunity to vote in a primary for Chenango County Court Judge. It is very important that you take the time to vote. There hasn’t been a time in many years that you have had the ability to select a candidate to represent your party in the general election.
I am only going to talk about one of the candidates, Diane DiStefano, who I feel is the most qualified for the position of Chenango County Court Judge. Diane began working at Vitanza, Shabus & Fertig, LLP during her first year of law school in 1996 as a legal assistant. She became associate counsel with the firm in June of 2001 and a partner in the firm of Vitanza, DiStefano and Dean, LLP in January of 2004. Her private practice is primarily concentrated in the areas of Family and Matrimonial Law, including child custody, child support and Matrimonial cases at the trial and Appellate levels along with other type of Civil and criminal litigation in Chenango, Madison, Otsego, Delaware, Broome, Cortland, Oneida and Herkimer Counties.
In 2006 Diane was appointed as an Assistant Public Defender by the Chenango County Public Defender to perform legal representation of individuals financially unable to obtain counsel in Family Court, Criminal Court and surrogate’s Court proceedings and has handled more than 750 Family Court cases involving child custody, visitation , child support, child neglect and family offenses and more that 800 criminal cases for that office
Assistant Public Defender’s represent and counsel criminal defendants at every stage of felony and misdemeanor proceedings following arrest through trial and sentencing; initiating such proceedings as are necessary to protect the rights of the accused. They correspond with referral and intervention social agencies to arrange for client counseling and/or in-patient treatment as a component of negotiated disposition and confer with defendants. witnesses, law enforcement officers, Judges and District Attorneys concerning individual cases as well as prepare, process and argue warranted appeals.
Family court is the largest part of this judicial position, although the criminal court aspects of this position are not to be taken lightly and require a person who has the ability to not make hasty decisions but also not afraid to make the hard decisions.
Enough about her qualifications. Let me tell you about Diane personally. She is extremely hard working person, dedicated loving wife, and mother. Diane is an avid runner who has completed two marathons. She has the temperament to keep a level head under extreme pressures.
I have had the opportunity to accompany her going door to door along the back roads of Chenango County and while backing out of a driveway miles from home she said to me, “We need to make sure we are back by 8 p.m. so I can put my daughter to bed and sing her a good night song.” That is when I knew she really cared about families, child, and people.
Diane has not gotten herself politically indebted to anyone or to any organization and throughout this campaign has refused to engage in any mudslinging rebuttals. For this I commend her and feel that the enrolled Independence Party members and the residents of Chenango County should be proud to say after this election that Diane DiStefano is our Judge.