NORWICH – Members of the community filled the chambers in One City Plaza on Wednesday to honor retiring Norwich City Court Judges James Downey and James Cushman at an open house luncheon.
A portrait of Downey was unveiled prior to lunch and attendees were given an opportunity to speak about Downey and Cushman.
President of the Chenango County Bar Association Zachary Wentworth hosted the open house, and said, "This is a bittersweet moment for me. It's always hard to see this much experience and judicial knowledge leave the bench."
Downey's retirement comes 18 years after first taking the bench as full-time Norwich City Court Judge. Cushman was appointed part-time Norwich City Court Judge in 2007 and has held the position ever since. Both turned 70 this year.
Irad Ingraham, former NYS Supreme Court Justice and painter of Downey's portrait, said, "Many, many years ago, I was on the bench and Jim [Downey] was a prosecutor. To sum up in one word my feelings of Jim––he was capable. He was always ready, always prepared, and he had the law in complete command. I tried to incorporate into the portrait the fact that he is capable."