The New York City Bar Association has rated four of the five candidates running for Brooklyn Civil Court judge on an “insurgent” slate as “not approved” for the bench.
Meanwhile, the city bar’s judicial evaluators have given ratings of “approved” to all but one of the six candidates in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary for Brooklyn district attorney.
Candidate reviews are conducted by the group, which gives candidates an “approved” rating when they “affirmatively demonstrated qualifications necessary” to perform in the office they are seeking, according to a news release.
The release states that the city bar does not comment on the ratings.
In the race for countywide seats on the bench in Brooklyn Civil Court, the committee approved all five candidates who are backed by the borough’s Democratic Party, who were each also deemed “approved” by the party’s judicial screening committee.
They are incumbent Civil Court Judges Frederick Arriaga and Robin Sheares; Patria Frias-Colón, who serves as Brooklyn borough chief for the New York City Law Department’s Family Court Division; Consuelo Mallafre Melendez, principal law clerk to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Marsha Steinhardt; and David Pepper, principal law clerk to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Martin Solomon.
The committee also issued its “approved” rating to one member of the so-called “insurgent” slate: Isiris Isaac, principal law clerk to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Shawndya Simpson. That slate was formed in an effort to challenge Democratic Party influence over the bench in New York City’s most populous borough.
But the city bar committee issued “not approved” ratings to John O’Hara, a Brooklyn attorney who was the first person to be convicted of illegal voting since the 19th century, a charge that was later cleared; Patrick Hayes, a former Brooklyn prosecutor who went on to found his own firm; Thomas Kennedy, an associate at Glancy Prongay & Murray; and Sandra Roper, a Brooklyn attorney who made a failed run for Brooklyn DA in 2001.
The committee also gave a “not approved” rating to Ellen Edwards, who operates a private practice representing clients in criminal and housing matters, and who has not campaigned with either the party-backed or insurgent slates in the primary.
In the race for Brooklyn DA, the city bar’s Committee on the Judiciary has issued “approved” ratings for the job to Ama Dwimoh, special counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who served as a Brooklyn ADA from 1988 to 2010; Patricia Gatling, an attorney at Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf who is also a former Brooklyn prosecutor; term-limited City Councilman Vincent Gentile, a former Queens prosecutor; Acting DA Eric Gonzalez, who was appointed to lead the office last year after Kenneth Thompson died of cancer before he could finished his first term; and Anne Swern, who worked for the Brooklyn DA’s Office for 34 years, beginning in 1980.
The sole candidate to not receive the committee’s approval was Marc Fliedner, who was an ADA from 1987 until last year.