On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct determined that Gary P. Arndt, a Justice of the Franklin Town Court, Delaware County, should be censured for various misconduct in numerous cases. The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Judge Arndt.’

“The judge was charged with violating Sections 100.1, 100.2(A), 100.3(B)(1), (2), (6), (7), and (8) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.

On February 1, 2022, Judge Arndt was served with a Formal Written Complaint containing four charges. Charge I alleged that from August 2018 to July 2019, in connection with his handling of three small claims cases, Judge Arndt failed to administer the required oath or affirmation to the witnesses.

Charge II alleged that in two small claims matters, Judge Arndt spoke with either the plaintiff or defendant after the other party had left the courtroom. In one case, he told the plaintiff how he planned to rule, and in the other, he dismissed the matter without notifying the parties or issuing a decision that could be appealed.

Charge III alleged that in four traffic infraction cases, Judge Arndt engaged in unauthorized ex parte communications with the defendants and/or reduced or dismissed the charges without notice to or the consent of the prosecution.

Charge IV alleged that in presiding over People v. Sebastian Swift, Judge Arndt failed to advise the
defendant of his rights and failed to take any action to accord the defendant an opportunity to exercise those rights.

On March 20, 2022, Judge Arnd filed an answer stating that his errors were innocent of any wrongful intent; that he did not knowingly, willfully, or intentionally act, at any time, in a manner that he believed would be unethical, or result in an unfair or unjust result to any civil litigant or criminal defendant appearing before him.

On July 13, 2022, the Administrator of the Commission, Judge Arndt, and his attorney, entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts, stipulating to the facts and sanction and waiving further submissions and oral argument. The judge agreed to be censured and to take several judicial training and education courses.

The determination states:

“In accepting the jointly recommended sanction of censure, we have taken” into consideration that respondent has no prior disciplinary history, has acknowledged that his conduct was improper and warrants public discipline, and has completed several continuing judicial education courses. We trust that respondent has learned from this experience and in the future will act in strict accordance with his obligation to abide by all the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.

By reason of the foregoing, the Commission determines that the appropriate disposition is censure.”

Judge Arndt, who is not an attorney, has been a Justice of the Franklin Town Court since 2010. His current term expires on December 31, 2025.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.