When NY Court Named for Ex-Judge, Another Bristles


An upstate New York courthouse is being named for a recently retired judge, but another jurist is saying, “Objection!”

The Washington County Board of Supervisors voted Friday to name the county’s courthouse after recently retired state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Mercure. But former Washington County Judge Philip Berke says that’s “a slap in the face” to other longtime judges in the area.

“I’m pretty [annoyed],” Berke told the Board of Supervisors on Friday. “This has taken a lot out of me.”

Berke said he wasn’t criticizing Mercure, but others also deserved recognition for their judicial careers.

Berke was forced to retire in 2006, when he hit a state mandatory retirement age for judges, after an almost four-decade career in criminal justice. Mercure retired last month after more than 30 years in office.

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