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Monday, June 1, 2020

Top Stories > General

McGuire resigns from bench, begins position as county attorney

May 21, 2020

By Isabel Braverman - staff writer

MONTICELLO — In a letter to the New York State Court of Appeals, Michael McGuire stated that he was withdrawing his appeal to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and resigning as County Court Judge effective Thursday, May 14.
The Commission had released a 66-page determination recommendation in March reccomending that McGuire be removed from the bench based on various allegations of misconduct and abuse of authority.
McGuire filed an appeal to that recommendation on April 15. That appeal is now dropped.
“Please be advised, based upon medical issues within my family, as well as other personal and family considerations, I am hereby withdrawing my request for review and will resign my current position as County Court Judge and Surrogate effective May 16, 2020,” McGuire wrote in the letter.
The Court of Appeals had suspended McGuire from his position of County Court Judge with pay effective April 30.

McGuire was slated to begin his position as County Attorney on May 4, but it was pushed back due to “personal reasons” and no start date had been determined.
However, McGuire did begin as County Attorney last week, according to County Director of Communications Dan Hust.
McGuire was hired by the Sullivan County Legislature as the County Attorney in February with a vote of 6-1. Legislator Ira Steingart voted against it, stating that he thought Deputy County Attorney Thomas Cawley should get the job, and Legislator Joe Perrello abstained, saying he appeared before McGuire in the past. Legislator Nadia Rajsz was absent due to an emergency faculty meeting at SUNY Orange related to COVID-19.
At recent legislature meetings, public comments were made from people opposing McGuire's appointment to the County Attorney position.
A letter was sent in support of McGuire to the Democrat by five Republican legislators -- Robert Doherty, George Conklin, Nicholas Salomone, Jr., Michael Brooks and Alan Sorensen.
Legislators Nadia Rajsz, Ira Steingart, Joseph Perrello and Luis Alvarez did not sign the letter, although Alvarez did vote for McGuire's appointment as county attorny.
The Determination found, “[McGuire's] misconduct, particularly his repeated abuse of the summary contempt power and his representation of his son and others while a full-time judge, meets the standard of ‘truly egregious' conduct for which his removal is warranted.”
In reference to the Commission's report, McGuire previously stated that “mistakes were made,” but also refuted some of the claims against him.
In his letter of resignation, McGuire writes, “I very much appreciate the opportunity to have served the people of Sullivan County and the Third Judicial District for the past 9.5 years. Overall, I am quite proud of our achievements over that time and deeply regret the issues which brought me before this Court.”
McGuire's 10-year term as County Court Judge was due to end in December. His term as County Attorney will be until the next legislature is sworn in, in 2024. He is succeeding former County Attorney Cheryl McCausland.."

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