The New York Post by DAN MANGAN - July 28, 2009
An upstate judge is in hot water for calling Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a "slug" in The Post's pages. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct last week hauled Cattaraugus County Judge Larry Himelein, 60, before a referee on undisclosed charges. Himelein admits he used the epithet to describe the Lower East Side Democrat over long-stalled pay raises for New York judges -- but insists he did so in a leaked e-mail to fellow judges, not in an April 2008 phone interview with The Post in which he confirmed he was refusing to hear cases involving Weitz & Luxenberg, Silver's employer. The commission is also probing whether he said, "I think the speaker is a slug." Subpoenaed Post reporter Bruce Golding testified his report was accurate. A lawyer not involved in the case said Himelein was likely to get just a private warning if convicted of detracting "from the dignity of judicial office." But if found to have misled the panel, he faces tougher sanctions, including possible removal, the source said. firstname.lastname@example.org
Judge revolt vs. me pointless, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver sez
The New York Daily News bY ELIZABETH BENJAMIN - May 5, 2008
Judges trying tomake Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pay - literally - by targeting his law firm in their ongoing war over judicial salary hikes are missing the mark, the speaker said Sunday. "They don't realize I have no interest in the firm, so they're not hurting me personally," Silver said. "I have no interest in litigation. The only interest I have is in what I bring in [through case referrals], which is very minimal." Silver's comments came on the heels of reports that upstate judges are either slowing down or recusing themselves from cases brought by his Manhattan law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, or trying to get the firm disqualified outright from at least one lucrative Medicaid fraud case. The speaker, who is of counsel at the firm, continued to insist yesterday that he actually supports a judicial pay raise, adding, "I would like to see that they, along with other people, get what is due them."
Judicial salary increases have traditionally been linked in Albany to pay raises for state lawmakers - a political hot-button issue, particularly at a time when the state is facing a fiscal crisis. Neither legislators nor judges have seen a raise since January 1999. The stalled pay raise is the subject of three lawsuits against state leaders, including one filed by Chief Judge Judith Kaye. The judicial revolt largely has been led by upstate judges. Cattaraugus County Judge Larry Himelein, a Democrat like Silver, reportedly went so far as to call the speaker "a slug." The speaker refused to respond in kind to the name-calling, saying only: "I don't know who the guy is. I question if that's the way he speaks in public whether he belongs on the bench. But that's his problem, not mine." email@example.com