Three hopefuls vie to make history as next Albany County Court judge.
Itlooks like it will be a three-way Democratic race for Albany County Court to replace nowstate Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch.
And depending on who emerges as the winner, history could be made.
Cohoes City Court Judge Andra Ackerman told Law Beat she will run for the judgeship, which Lynch had held since January 2013.
Ackerman, 47, joins Jasper Mills, the chief counsel to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple and City Court Judge Holly
Trexler as candidates expected to seek the judgeship.
“There has never been a female county court judge in the history of Albany County and I believe that diversity on the bench is critical to the administration of justice,” Ackerman said.
If elected, Ackerman or Trexler would become the first woman to serve on the bench in Albany County Court. Mills would become just the second black judge to hold the position.
In his six years as an Albany County judge, Lynch earned a reputation as lenient. Defense attorneys could undoubtedly recite examples where Lynch was hardly lenient. But that notwithstanding, Albany County prosecutors will likely be happy with a judge coming in with prosecutorial experience. Lynch’s background was in criminal defense.
Trexler was a former defense attorney but also a prosecutor in Albany and Rensselaer counties. Mills was a prosecutor for District Attorney David Soares’ office before working for Apple. He recently prosecuted a case in Rensselaer as a special prosecutor.
Ackerman’s experience includes working as a prosecutor in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Monroe counties. Ackerman also worked as the state’s director of human trafficking prevention and policy.
Ackerman, who grew up in foster care in the Capital Region, ran the special victims unit, which prosecutes sex crimes, while working in Schenectady.
“I have dedicated my entire career to helping to make this world a safer place for the most vulnerable of our populations ...” Ackerman told Law Beat.
Ackerman formed a program, U-CAN, short for United Against Crime-community Action Network, to provide mentoring to defendants ages 16 to 21 years old. The yearlong program allows them to conditionally plead guilty to a nonviolent crime. If they suc-
cessfully complete a year of mentoring and stay out of trouble, the guilty plea will be expunged.
“I am proud to say that additional U-CAN courts are now being planned around the state,” Ackerman told Law Beat.
4,000 lawyers to meet in NYC
The #Metoo movement will be among the topics on the agenda when the State Bar Association holds its 142nd annual meeting in Manhattan from Monday to Friday.
More than 4,000 lawyers are expected to attend the conference, being held at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel.
The conference will “examine laws regarding sexual harassment and consider how attorneys can work to prevent it, while also highlighting ways that attorneys can nurture and support gender equity in the profession and in society.”
Wrongful prosecutions, whistleblower laws, and the pros and cons of a single-payer health care system will also be discussed.
Scheduled speakers include former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Chief Judge Janet Difiore, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who was the state’s first female attorney general, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; and Manhattan state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who chairs the state Assembly’s Health Committee.