NORWICH – Hundreds turned out to the Canasawacta Country Club Thursday night to honor retired Chenango County Judge W. Howard Sullivan, this year’s recipient of the Chenango District of the Baden-Powell Council Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award.
In recognition of his outstanding dedication to the betterment of the Chenango County community, Sullivan was presented the award following a banquet in his honor, and a series of special speakers that included local representatives of the Boy Scouts of America, as well as longtime friends and family members of the revered former judge.
Sullivan, possibly best known for the time he served on the bench for County Court, Surrogates Court and Family Court, was lauded more for his interest in the local community. A lifelong resident of the area, he has practiced law in Chenango County since 1972. In that time, he has also served as a volunteer and board member for more than 20 different charitable and not for profit, community-based organizations, many of which focused on improving the community for local youth.
Sullivan was also applauded for the many successes he achieved in his profession. During his tenure in the legal field, Sullivan developed a Community Service Program that provided more than 4,000 hours of community service as an alternative to incarceration. Moreover, he implemented a training and education mandate for county residents who applied for a pistol permit and – realizing that 90 percent of the inmates in the Chenango County jail are there because of substance abuse – developed Drug Treatment Court, where offenders have an opportunity to complete a rigorous rehabilitation course in lieu of jail time, changing the lives of many individuals and saving taxpayers million of dollars over the years.