posted on November 18, 2013 21:08
Former Village of Corfu Justice Robert Alexander, who was charged with official misconduct and coercion in connection to missing court funds, can have the case dismissed if he stays out of trouble.
Appearing in County Court today, Judge Robert Noonan handed down a ruling of a six-month adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. Basically, if the 68-year-old Alexander is on his best behavior, the three charges will be dismissed.
They were all misdemeanors and Alexander has no prior record.
An audit found $10,000 in court funds missing. Alexander’s daughter and former court clerk Brandi Watts pleaded guilty to a felony count of falsifying government documents this month and paid restitution. It’s part of that deal that Alexander can have the three charges against him dismissed.
Alexander was suspended and forced to resign from his justice position after almost a quarter century. He is now barred from seeking judicial office.
Donald O’Geen was named a special prosecutor for the case from Wyoming County to avoid a conflict of interest. He says based on the case, it was just punishment.
“Corfu got their money back,” he said. “The person who stole the money or at least tampered with the public records is being held accountable and I think having his publicly resign and basically disgraced is justice for the people of Corfu.”
O’Geen says it’s ill-conceived to think Alexander could have served any jail time or even have gotten probation.
“For me, personally, I think that was the biggest punishment one could give Judge Alexander because he had been a judge for so long,” he said. “The fact of resignation kind of signals that he had done something wrong and it also tarnishes his record when he was on the bench. So I think for him, and his personality, that’s the biggest punishment one could have given him.”
It was this situation that has seemingly been the source of conflict with the Village and it originated several years ago. O’Geen says there needs to be more expeditiousness from the state.
“Why does it take the Judicial Misconduct Commission to act when they’ve had the case for over two years,” O’Geen said. “Why don’t they speak to the D.A. when the D.A. is investigating the case? Why does this case get dragged out? I only had this case since February and I think I’ve now brought resolution to the Village of Corfu.”
“I think there’s a value to bringing it to a conclusion and part of bringing it to a conclusion is granting the ACD today.”
Alexander said he hadn’t broken the law and refused to comment on his daughter, Watts.
"As Jesus Christ as my witness, as God as my witness, I never intended, nor thought about, or never did, anything in the last 30 years that I've been saved as a Christian that I would ever do anything that would even think about violating the law," Alexander said. "I just thank God this case has ended the way it has. I think it's a fair disposition."
Alexander is due back in court May 19.