On Thursday, August 3, 2023, auburnpub.com reported that June Shepardson, a town and village justice in Moravia, New York has been suspended as confirmed by the State Office of Court Administration.

The suspension was implemented by Judge James Murphy, the deputy chief administrative judge for courts outside New York City, who is responsible for overseeing town and village courts. According to Murphy’s administrative order, all judicial matters that were pending before Shepardson will be reassigned to Judge Sheila Hargett-Kemp, the other town and village justice in Moravia. Furthermore, no new judicial matters will be assigned to Shepardson, and she is required to surrender all case files in her possession. Additionally, she will no longer have access to court case management and email systems during the suspension period.

Shepardson’s future in the judicial system will be determined by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, an independent agency comprising 11 members responsible for investigating allegations of ethical misconduct among judges.

Over the last two years, it was reported that two town justices in Cayuga County have resigned due to commission investigations. In 2021, Mark DiVietro resigned as an Owasco town justice after being investigated for unauthorized communications related to a 2019 case. Similarly, Phillip Franklin stepped down as a Locke town justice in 2022 following an investigation into improper handling of court funds.

Shepardson, who has served as Moravia town justice since 2005 and has been reelected to successive four-year terms, now finds herself under scrutiny by the commission. Her extensive involvement in the Cayuga County Magistrates Association and past role as director of the state Magistrates Association highlight her significant experience in the judiciary. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the outcome of her tenure as a town and village justice.

Information regarding the investigation has not been disclosed to the public. Lucian Chalfen, the spokesperson for the state Office of Court Administration, stated that the investigation is still ongoing and referred to it as a “continuing investigation.” However, Chalfen refrained from providing any additional comments or details about the nature or scope of the investigation. As of now, the specifics surrounding the case remain confidential and have not been made public.


Source: auburnpub