Judge fined, ordered to attend victim impact panel
The Albany Times Union by ROBERT GAVIN - August 5, 2009
GREEN ISLAND, NY -- Family Court Judge Gerard Maney pleaded guilty Tuesday night to driving while impaired by alcohol in June, resolving a case in which police said he drove away from a sobriety checkpoint. The 59-year-old judge admitted to the violation before Green Island Town Justice Joseph Liotta and Albany County Assistant District Attorney Mary Tanner-Richter. The charge is equivalent to a speeding ticket. Maney must pay a $300 fine and an estimated $260 in surcharges. He must take a drinking-and-driving program and attend a victim-impact panel on a night in Guilderland. "After much thought, Judge Maney has decided that it is in the best interest of everyone to enter a plea of guilty to driving in a motor vehicle while ability impaired," his lawyer, Joseph McCoy, said in a statement handed out after Maney's plea. "Judge Maney apologizes to his family, friends and supporters for the embarrassment he has caused them and to the residents of Albany County for the incident that occurred," McCoy said. "He is confident that the humble lessons he has learned from this mistake and the lessons he will continue to learn will make him a better person and justice." Police have said his blood alcohol level was 0.07 -- just below the 0.08 legal limit needed for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. But police also charged the judge with common-law driving while intoxicated.
He was arrested June 18 after allegedly driving away from a checkpoint on the Green Island Bridge about 8:30 p.m. He told police he was headed to Verdile's in Troy. Court papers alleged he had glassy eyes and the smell of alcohol on his breath. The court papers said the judge initially refused to take a breath screening test, but later agreed and registered a 0.15. He later admitted he "rinsed his mouth with mouthwash." The court papers said after he was given a DWI "warning" and read his Miranda rights, the judge was "undecided and wanted to talk to a lawyer." But he submitted to a chemical breath test, which registered his blood alcohol level at 0.07. Maney, a Family Court judge since June 1991, was arrested on a night of DWI patrols across Albany County. Court papers have said the judge was traveling eastbound toward Troy when he made an illegal U-turn "to avoid the safety checkpoint." He turned left on Albany Avenue, with Green Island police following him with sirens and lights activated, court papers said. He was issued tickets for making an illegal U-turn and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. Maney faces possible discipline from the Commission on Judicial Conduct.