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Monday, November 7, 2011

Pelham Town Judge Faces Double Ethics Fire

Judicial Corruption is Local, Like Politics
November 7, 2011
Pelham Town Judge Stephen F. Huff Faces Double Ethics Fire

Part-time Town of Pelham Judge, Stephen F. Huff, has worn a black robe for over thirty years. When he's not sitting on the bench in the small Westchester town, he is employed as "Senior Counsel" with the respected Manhattan law firm Pryor Cashman. As he seeks re-election to a tenth term on November 8, 2011, part-time Judge Huff is now accused of improperly protecting fellow "officers of the court."

At some point during an attorney ethics complaint investigation against Westchester County lawyer Peter D. Hoffman, Judge Huff apparently decided to issue an 'order' in a case that had been closed for years. The "Memorandum Decision" issued by Judge Huff on August 11, 2009, says, "In all appearances, Mr. Hoffman represented [the defendant] in a professional and effective manner obtaining a commendable and just result for his client." The unusual 'order' in a case that had been closed for years is signed by StephenF. Huff, Town Justice. The 'order' would then make its way to the Westchester attorney Ethics Committee staff counsel who was reviewing an attorney complaint against Peter D. Hoffman.

Equally unusual, is exactly what happened to that 'order.' Swift justice, apparently, provided that Huff's 'order' would be expeditiously provided to the law office of Peter Hoffman via facsimile. But Huff's 'order' was not sent by the Town of Pelham Court Clerk. Huff''s 'order' was faxed from the Pryor Cashman law firm.  Other documentation reveals that prior to Huff's 'order' praising the actions of attorney Hoffman in 2009, attorney Peter Hoffman was himself, in February of 2006, preparing legal papers to have Judge Huff recuse himself- in the very same case.

Insiders have questioned the purpose of the unusual 'order' and the judicial and attorney ethics of Stephen Huff in using the implied stature of a respected Manhattan law firm in facilitating that 'order' years after the case had been closed.

CLICK HERE TO SEE the attorney and judicial ethics-challenged document, dated August 13, 2009. 


Anonymous said...

Vote out the dead CORRUPT wood- that's what I say.... and that's what I intend to do.

disgusted said...

He's been a judge for 30 years and doesn't know better that he can't use his law firm to be a judge?!?!?
What a nut!
If he does get re-elected, he'll surely have his are removed by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Where do we get these lawyers who think they are above the law and above ethics!?!?!

Anonymous said...

I just read the documents. Wow. I bet the 1/2 judge made a deal with that lawyer a long time ago. Welcome to Westchester, people. The laws don't matter, even judges sell themselves for their friends, or for power. They would sell their mothers for a dime. The FBI should arrest this 1/2 judge and the involved lawyer.
Anyone around for 30 years in Westchester has perfected the scam of THE FIX IS IN.

Anonymous said...

wow...this article is unbelieveable..CORRUPT...CORRUPT...CORRUPT...get this JERK out NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

Huff's pretty funny. He issues a ruling in a long-closed court case that is basically a letter of recommendation for the lawyer facing an attorney ethics probe.
Throw him off the bench and disbar him.
He can do standup comedy.

Anonymous said...

this guy must have friends in HIGH PLACES..FBI, where are you?????

Pelhamite said...

You have to believe that a little judge like this and around for 30 years has had a lot to do with the talk that Westchester is a land of corrupt individuals. This Judge Huff should never have written anything into the record like the document I read. Highly inappropriate and meant only to help a fellow crooked lawyer. I agree, he should be removed from the bench.

wondering said...

I want to know why the Assistant District Attorney didn't report Huff. The distribution/copy page (3) shows that she got a copy of the Pryor Cashman fax.

Anonymous said...

Huff should be suspended immediately.
Has anyone sent this to the Commission on Judicial Conduct?

Anonymous said...

I'm quite familiar with Judge Huff. I saw him out dining with the father of a son with a criminal case before Huff in Town Court. A Pelham cop friend told me the criminal case just went away. Not good. Justice should not be for sale.

Anonymous said...

Huff's been around too long.
He's a perfect example of something that starts to stink when it's been been around too long.....

Anonymous said...

I think the time has come for the Feds to show up at the lawless judge huff's house. After Huff dirties his underwear, he'll cry like a baby and confess to his many years of violating his oath as a lawyer and as a judge. Lock the bastard up!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this guy Huff is a big disappointment to me, been a judge way too long

In the know said...

Huff's actions are in violation are of federal laws, my friends, this is bad.

Anonymous said...

I live in Mount Vernon and my question is: how dumb or corrupt are the citizens of Pelham that they keep voting for this obviously 'for sale' judge. You get what you vote for!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mount Veron, the land of purity when it comes to elected officials. No excuses for Huff put please.....

Pam in Pelham said...

The Pelham Patch-
Pelham Candidates Make Final Campaign Stops

PELHAM, N.Y. – The four town justice candidates who have spent months preparing made some last minute campaign stops Monday on the day before the election.
Republicans Stephen Huff and John De Chiaro and Democrats George Bischof and Mercedes Maldonado will vie for the two town justice seats in Pelham. Each had different emotions Monday prior to Election Day.
Bischof said he will spend his remaining time before polls close Tuesday night making phone calls encouraging people to vote. He said he is cautiously optimistic and expects a strong turnout. He also gave some praise to his opponents. “I’m confident that the voters have a good choice to make,” Bischof said. “I’ve enjoyed my own campaigning. I think the other candidates have done a good job of getting information out.” Multiple phone calls to Huff were not returned Monday. Huff, De Chiaro and Maldonado stood outside the train station for nearly three hours Monday morning handing out cards to people. The latter two candidates did the same outside the Richard J. Daronco Town House on Fifth Avenue in the early afternoon. De Chiaro said he feels there is nothing else he can do at this point and that he has campaigned to all of Pelham. “I feel like I have an aura of serenity,” De Chiaro said. “I did the best I could. It’s up to the people now.” Maldonado, too, said he is optimistic about Tuesday’s election. “I know that I’ve campaigned very hard and I think I have a lot of support,” Maldonado said.

a local mom, retired said...

Huff should be denying this allegation if it is false. I'm very surprised that he couldn't be available to comment yesterday. Huff has now lost my vote. I'm voting for De Chiaro and Maldonado.

Anonymous said...

For everyone who feels that the courts don't protect their constitutional rights or believe that the courts are not complying with the constitution, here is your chance to be heard.

The Albany Law Review is seeking submissions for it upcoming issue:

State Constitutional Commentary

The State Constitutional Commentary is an annual issue of the Albany Law Review dedicated to the examination of state constitutional law in its broadest sense, from the widest possible range of perspectives. "State constitutional law" itself is meant to encompass all varieties of law—common law, statutes, constitutional provisions, court decisions, etc.—that fall within the expanse often referred to simply as public law.

Accordingly, the State Constitutional Commentary is intended as a forum for exploring all facets of judicial federalism, the role of state courts, state adjudication, issues of rights and liberties confronting state governments and their courts, and the host of other issues related to state constitutional law. It also includes interdisciplinary examinations of state courts, state constitutional law, and state constitutional adjudication, issues of rights and liberties confronting state governments and their courts, and the host of other issues related to state constitutional law.

Publishing Opportunity
The Albany Law Review is presently accepting article submissions for its State Constitutional Commentary, on topics related to the upcoming Symposium entitled "The State of State Courts." The issue will feature a Perspectives section which includes analysis, op-ed, and essay pieces related to Judicial Retention. The deadline for submission is December 15, 2011. Please contact Nikki Nielson, Executive Editor for State Constitutional Commentary, at for more information.

If you want to be heard, here's your opportunity.

pelham attorney said...

A judge MUST avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in ALL the judge's activities. Period. This is a simple but firm judicial ethics requirement.


Judge Huff has a big problem here.

Pelham Resident said...

It looks like if Huff is re-elected he'll soon be removed from office by the Judge Ethics Committee- that would be pretty embarrassing to Pelham. We don't need that type of publicity. Let him retire now, let's be done with him.

Manor Resident said...

I guess I understand why so many comments are from 'anonymous' folks. Unfortunately, retaliation is alive and well in Pelham and Pelham Manor. I'm not proud of this fact in our community.

But proof is proof. I had a lawyer friend go over the document that Judge Huff signed and had sent from his law firm to an attorney facing an ethics investigation.

Huff, apparently on his own, decided to file papers in a case that had been closed for years. This is wrong. And what Huff filed is a bizarre endorsement of an attorney who had appeared before him, and who was facing ethics charges against him. This too is wrong; our judges shouldn't be doing this and there are judicial ethical rules against it. (In fact, judges get removed from the bench for such activity)

Huff, and apparently his law firm secretary, used his law firm to conduct court business as a judge. This is a very big no-no. As a lawyer, you can't do it, and as a judge you can't do it. If your read the documents closely, you'll see the order was mailed a few days before the fax. I bet that the lawyer Hoffman was under a deadline to get that Huff endorsement on to the attorney ethics committee. (Nothing better than a judge saying a lawyer was great, I guess)

Judges are supposed to be neutral. Huff's actions here smack of anything but him being a neutral person.

What else is out there that we don't know about our court here in Pelham?

My lawyer friend says Huff has a lot of explaining to do, and no matter what he says, his actions both as a lawyer and a judge were simply, and grossly, improper.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a special prosecutor should be put in place over the Pelham court. I know when something is wrong and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

court insider said...

You have no idea how bad the Pelham Court has been over the last 20 plus years. Communist Russia obeyed law and order more frequently than the back ass court of law in Pelham, New York.

The rule was to hide anything that could ever be embarrassing. Court records are a mess.... on purpose.

If the NYS AG came in and did an audit, they would be stunned. In fairness to Steve Huff, he was only half of the problem. His partner in crime, the dishonorable wacko Anthony Pasquantonio, was the other half of a fully corrupted court machine in Pelham. Change is good, but accountability is better.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Pelham. Most every judge is either incompetent or corrupt. As far as there being rules and ethics they are supposed to adhere to, that too is a joke. Everything is done behind closed doors, so there is no accountability.

These judges keep getting re-elected because no one knows what they are doing. Why are complaints kept secret? Being an attorney is supposed to be a privilege and they are supposed to protect our legal rights. It's the citizens of the state that allow them to practice, so the citizens should have the information about misconduct readily available to them. It should not be kept hidden.

Anonymous said...

When is the OCA going to hire a professional administrator? All the paperwork, filings and schedulings are a mess. It's too easy to hide and cover-up when it is impossible to follow a paper trail.

Insider said...

Steve Hoff is the go to guy up in Pelham, he can handle anything and he does well by himself but somebody up White Plains had it in for him and this is the result

Anonymous said...

Are you people serious, or just bored?

Anonymous said...

Huff and De Chario won.
Merecedes has another chance, after Huff gets yanked off the bench.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

And the weird rule of law under Judge Huff continues!

Pelham Moms said...

"Merecedes has another chance, after Huff gets yanked off the bench."
Mercedes is the very person who got this disinformation removed from Facebook.

a mom AND an attorney said...

Dear Moms,
You may be out drinking with the girls too much. "Disinformation" has to do with false information.
Did you not read the actual document that Judge Huff signed? You go back to the bar, and I'll await the decision of the Judge's ethics investigation. I'll bet you a beer (or big glass of wine) that Huff will be removed from the bench, or forced to retire. Get your head out of the sand!

Anonymous said...

I love it. Cat fight!

Anonymous said...

Ask Mercedes.

Anonymous said...

Did not see sexism coming on this thread, and twice! Way to make your point get lost. Epic fail.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2