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Nassau County, N.Y., Court Judge Paul Kowtna was arrested Thursday in connection with the stabbing of his wife, who was reportedly in stable condition. The judge called 911 around 8:30 a.m. yesterday to summon police to the couple’s New Hyde Park home, where they found him in an “irrational” state, according to Sergeant John Giambrone, of the Nassau County Police Department. Mary Gail Kowtna, 45, was stabbed twice in the back with a kitchen knife. Judge Kowtna, 51, initially taken to the Nassau County Police Department’s Third Precinct, was later transported to Nassau County Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation. Charges are pending. Mary Gail Kowtna was taken to North Shore University Hospital. Her injuries were not considered life-threatening, Sergeant Giambrone said. Police officers at the Third Precinct made the determination to move the judge to Nassau County Medical Center, he added. Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman of the Office of Court Administration has directed Nassau County Chief Administrative Judge Edward McCabe to effectively suspend Kowtna with pay, according to an OCA spokesman. Only the Court of Appeals may suspend judges without pay or remove them from the bench. The couple has two teen-aged daughters, who were not at home when the incident occurred. Mineola attorney Thomas Hession is representing Kowtna. Kowtna, first elected to the County Court in 1993, is a Republican known for moving cases rapidly through the criminal court system. He was described as “unreasonable” and “brutal” by some attorneys interviewed in a Newsday series last year on Long Island judges. Kowtna served as an assistant district attorney for Nassau County from 1975 to 1984. In 1997, Kowtna defended a claim brought by two social workers who alleged that he should have recused himself from a Medicare fraud case against them because his wife was an investigator in the State Attorney General’s fraud unit. The defendants charged that Kowtna should have disclosed that his wife was involved in prosecuting the case. Nassau County Court Judge Daniel C. Cotter subsequently rejected the claim. Kowtna also is an adjunct professor of law at Nassau Community College. He received his law degree from New York University School of Law in 1975.

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