On Friday, June 14, 2024, Newsday reported that an acting state Supreme Court Judge from Suffolk County was facing charges for allegedly leaving the scene of a car accident in April.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Suffolk District Court, 61-year-old Aletha V. Fields from Central Islip was driving her 2022 Mercedes-Benz through the drive-thru lane of a Dunkin’ in Islandia on April 10th. Court documents state that Fields’ vehicle collided with a 2015 BMW that was being driven by a 19-year-old from Dix Hills. The impact caused dents and scratches to the rear bumper of the BMW, though no physical injuries were reported.

The complaint alleges that after the crash occurred, Fields fled the scene without exchanging info or notifying authorities about the incident. She was subsequently arrested on May 16th and pleaded not guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage during her arraignment on June 5th. If convicted, Fields faces a $250 fine and up to 15 days in jail for the violation.

Fields’ attorney declined to comment on the pending charge. A spokesman for Suffolk County Courts also declined to weigh in given the ongoing case. Records did not make clear whether Fields was still presiding over any cases. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the New York State Office of Court Administration noted they were reviewing the matter administratively as well.

Fields had been among 19 judges appointed to the New York State Court of Claims by Governor Kathy Hochul last year. After her appointment, she was assigned to the Supreme Court in Riverhead. Newsday has previously reported that assigning Court of Claims judges to act in the Supreme Court gets around a constitutional requirement for elected judges. Prior to her current role, Fields had served as a Support Magistrate for Suffolk County Family Court since 1997.



Source: Newsday