It's confirmed. New York Governor David A. Paterson has decided that current Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Theodore T. Jones, Jr., will be the next Chief Judge of New York State.
"Nothing will change Dave's mind on who will be the next Chief Judge of this state," says our source, and who asked that she not be identified, adding, "Judge Jones is highly respected and a man of unquestioned integrity."
When asked whether Gov. Paterson knew the depth of the corruption within the state court system, the source avoided the question, "Governor Paterson wants decisive change and he is determined to restore the faith of the people in their government and court system." Asked again if the Governor had knowledge of how severely corrupt the state court system had become, our source became a bit testy, "Listen, Dave knows more legal jokes than most people, but the point is that this Governor is committed to cleaning up the mess at all levels of OCA, all while simultaneously securing hefty and deserved judicial pay increases. Dave knows how important this decision is and that's why we'll have a trusted leader like Justice Jones to bring the changes needed at all levels of the court system."
But we pressed again about whether our Governor was aware of how much of a cesspool our court system had become, and before a odd telephone line disconnection we heard, "Dave knows that if he doesn't insure top-to-bottom change in the state's courts, he might as well endorse Rudy Giuliani in the next election."
Background on New York State Chief Judge Theodore T. Jones, Jr.
Justice Jones is currently an Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Previously, he served as a Supreme Court Justice for the Second Judicial Department and Administrative Judge of the Civil Term of Supreme Court in Kings County. Soon-to-be Chief Judge Jones was first elected to Supreme Court in 1989, and was re-elected in 2003. While on the bench, Justice Jones has served as both a Criminal Term judge and a Civil Term judge.
Justice Jones was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Hampton University and St. John’s University School of Law. He served on active duty with the United States Army, and was in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Before being elected to the Supreme Court, Justice Jones worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society, a Law Secretary for Judge Howard A. Jones of the New York State Court of Claims, and as a private practitioner. Justice Jones lives in New City with his wife, Joan. They have two grown children, Wesley and Theodore.
Recently, Integrity in the Courts and ExposeCorruptCourts.blogspot.com asked Governor Paterson to appoint Brooklyn Surrogate Judge Margarita Lopez Torres as New York's next Chief Judge. Judge Lopez Torres confirmed last week that she had been contacted to submit an application to the state's Judicial Nomination Committee, but that she had declined, indicating that she still had important work before her in Brooklyn's Surrogate Court.