Two non-attorney town justices, Arlene Brown of the Bennington Town Court in Wyoming County and Robert Blain of the Prattsville Town Court in Greene County, have resigned while being investigated by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Both have agreed not to seek or accept judicial office in the future.
Brown had been under investigation since 2013 when the commission began looking into allegations that she neglected to fulfill her duties diligently and impartially, failed to recuse herself when required, failed to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, and “failed to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it,” according to a stipulation. The details were not released. Brown took office in 2008 and was paid $5,000 annually.
Blain, who had been on the bench since 1987, was under investigation in connection with a state comptroller audit that “found multiple financial irregularities in the court accounts and insufficient oversight by Judge Blain over his clerk,” according to a stipulation. The judge was paid $7,521 a year and was serving a term that ends in 2017.
Since 2003, 48 judges have stipulated to resign and eschew judicial office after the commission launched an investigation.