Chenango’s judicial burdens only to worsen as state delays second judgeship

NORWICH Chenango will have to wait at least another eight months for a second county judge, as legislation currently in the Assembly gets sent back to the drawing board.

“There are tons of upstate rural communities wanting more judgeships and instead of doing this piecemeal, the senate wants to go back and address many of the issues together,” said State Senator Thomas Libous (R-Binghamton).

Chenango County Court Judge W. Howard Sullivan has been carrying nearly twice the caseload of a regular county judge for the last four years.

In 2005, he handled more criminal and family court cases than any judge in the 10-county district.

Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge) said, “We are in the process of reintroducing the bill.” Both Libous and Crouch have been very supportive of the bill and both said they share and understand the county’s frustrations.

For the last four years, Chenango County has been lobbying the state’s legislature to assign a second court judge. Sixth District Administrative Judge Judith F. O’Shea said there is an “immediate need for an additional multi-bench judge in Chenango County.”

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