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Why a new judge is needed for a Cuomo trial

By ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH M. GIGLIO

Our governmental institutions – executive, legislative, and judicial – are only as effective as they are trustworthy. We expect our judges to be impartial arbiters of fact, and that is why I am so upset about Chief Judge Janet DiFiore accepting prioritized testing for herself and her family during the recent COVID-19 pandemic in New York.

Her acceptance of the privilege to receive speedy, at-home COVID-19 testing while utilizing public health and National Guard assets for herself and her family members violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Public Officers Law. Worse yet, it puts into question whether her judgement can be trusted by the public, as it has been made clear that to her it is acceptable for people of great power and influence to be treated differently than the public at large.

While investigating the numerous compelling allegations against our governor, who has a reputation for wielding his political leverage in ways that protect himself and those close to him, it is critical these investigations and any legal proceedings that follow are conducted properly and ethically. If the governor is impeached, it is deeply troubling to think that he would be judged in the Senate by someone who has admitted to receiving special favors from him, possibly in violation of the law.

Special treatment, deal-making, and exchanging favors between the well-connected have become hallmarks of the Cuomo administration, and if Judge DiFiore truly respects our judicial system, she will admit her impropriety and recuse herself from any legal matters pertaining to the governor’s alleged wrongdoings.

After being disappointed by efforts such as the Moreland Commission’s investigations, which were mired by concerns regarding its legitimacy and independence, New Yorkers deserve an investigation into their executive that they can trust to deliver truthful answers to the concerning questions surrounding his actions. A recusal from Judge DiFiore is imperative to ensure the validity of a potential trial and to restore trust in our state’s judicial branch as a whole.

Assemblyman Joseph Giglio represents the 148th District, which consists of all of Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, and portions of Steuben County as well. For more information, visit Assemblyman Giglio’s Official Website.

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