An upstate New York appellate panel Thursday rejected a sex discrimination claim lodged by a former Staten Island judge who claimed he was reassigned because another judge had accused him of prejudice against female litigants and ultimately denied recertification because he complained of bias.
The Appellate Division, 3rd Department, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Thomas E. Mercure, said Justice Frank V. Ponterio’s reassignment from a matrimonial to a civil part did not constitute a “demotion, decrease in salary, loss of privilege, diminution of responsibilities or loss of benefits.” It also said the Administrative Board’s decision to deny Ponterio an extension after reaching the mandatory retirement age apparently stemmed from a recommendation of the Richmond County Bar Association rather than from retaliation for complaining about his reassignment.
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