Family Court judge censuredin '05 seeks re-election
A Westchester Family Court judge who was censuredfive years ago for trying to help friends getfavorable outcomes in two cases before hercolleagues is running for a second 10-year term onthe bench.Judge Nilda Morales Horowitz, a former deputycountyattorneywho was elected to Family Court in2000, is among six judicial candidates endorsed byWestchester Democrats. County Republicans haveput up five candidates for judge.Horowitz, who is in the New Rochelle bureau ofFamily Court, was censured in 2005 by the stateCommissionon Judicial Conduct for herintervention in two 2003 cases pending before hercolleagues.In one, Horowitz sought the recusal of Family CourtJudge David Klein — who is also running for asecond term — from a divorce case involving aclose friend of hers who was her child's teacher. Inthe other, she tried to help a Scarsdale couple wincustody of a child by telling Family Court JudgeSandra Edlitz's staff members what nice people herfriends were. Edlitz eventually recused herself fromthat case.The commission found that Horowitz violatedseveral sections of the law governing judicialconduct and gave inaccurate testimony. A censure isconsidered an official slap on the wrist."In Family Court cases, there are often opposingparties whose competing interests impact the livesof children," the commission wrote. "When a judgeseeks to privately impart favorable information tothe judge presiding over a matter, the entire systemof justice in Family Court is subverted."CountyDemocratic PartyChairman ReginaldLaFayette defended Horowitz, saying she deservedthe endorsement as a sitting judge with an overallgood track record."They didn't remove her from the bench," he said.Horowitz's nomination raised questions from someparty insiders. Alan Goldston, a Scarsdale attorney, said he was troubled by the censure and concernedthat her nomination could hurt the rest of the judicial ticket.Goldston, however, said he didn't opposeHorowitz's being on the ticket, noting the censurewasn't about her rulings from the bench, but herbehavior off the bench."For a serious breach of etiquette, she was publiclyhumiliated," he said. "It was years ago. We're acounty that believes in redemption, aren't we?"The other Democratic candidates for Family Courtare Klein, Family Court attorney referee MichelleSchauer, and Hal Greenwald, a Yonkers lawyer whospecializes in Family Court cases, such as divorcesand child custody.Republicans endorsed Sharon Bell Adamo, anassociate county attorney; Patricia O'Callahan, aformer deputy county attorney, and WilliamsEdwards, an acting Family Court judge in WhitePlains.For county judge, Democrats backed Barry Warhit, aGreenburgh lawyer who was recently appointed tothe bench, while Republicans endorsed MountVernon lawyer Douglas Martino.County Court judges generally preside over felonycriminal cases.
http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=20105270366 http://www.lohud.com/fdcp/?12751800132391 of 2 5/29/2010 8:42 PM