Officials debate office space for new judge

NORWICH -– Government officials would be more than happy to bite the bullet on $1 million in exterior renovations at the former Chenango County Sheriff’s Office if they knew another entity would pick up the interior’s cost.

Such a plan could come to fruition if the New York State Supreme Court’s pockets are deep enough. Unfortunately - and despite direct questioning - members of the Chenango County Agriculture, Buildings & Grounds Committee were unable to determine that during a meeting with Sixth District Administrative Judge Executive Assistant G. Russell Oechsle.

Oechsle met with the committee Nov. 21 to begin the process of identifying between approximately 700 square feet of chamber space for newly elected Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Garry. Even though Garry’s district duties encompass 10 New York State counties - and much of her first year will be spent judging out-of-county cases - Chenango County is obligated by law to provide her with office space because she is a resident of New Berlin.

The judge’s chambers must entail three separate office spaces and a private bathroom. It is also required to be as close as possible to the county’s courthouse as well as include a parking space.

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