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Picente expresses concern about federal judge recommendation

Alexis Manore
Staff writer
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Posted 8/30/22

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, expressing his concern with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand‘s recommendation to replace U.S. Northern District of New York Judge David N. Hurd with a non-Utica resident.

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Picente expresses concern about federal judge recommendation

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UTICA — Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, expressing his concern with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand‘s recommendation to replace U.S. Northern District of New York Judge David N. Hurd with a non-Utica resident.  

Hurd, who is 85 and presides over a federal court in Utica, rescinded his plan to take senior status, a form of semi-retirement, after learning that he would be replaced by Jorge Alberto Rodriguez, age 43, of Clifton Park.  

The letter to Schumer, dated Wednesday, Aug. 24, read, “It continues to be painfully obvious to all residents in the Mohawk Valley that Senator Gillibrand has no regard or interest in representing this region of New York. This is another blatant attempt to marginalize my community in favor of a community where she sees more political support, campaign donations and ultimately votes.”  

Picente also asked Schumer to get involved in the nomination. 

“You can ensure the Mohawk Valley, Oneida County and the Greater Utica area not be forgotten by Senator Gillibrand, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the President of the United States when it comes to proper U.S. District Court representation,” the letter said.  

Schumer has not replied to a request for comment. 

In a Monday, Aug. 29 statement, Picente emphasized the importance of having the Mohawk Valley region represented by a federal judge who resides in the area.   

“I expect better from Senator Gillibrand,” Picente said in the statement. “There are many qualified individuals who can be appointed to this seat who reside in our region. Senator Gillibrand would know them if she had any type of interest in, or knowledge of, this region that she continuously fails to represent in the United States Senate. I applaud our distinguished U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd for taking a principled stand to ensure the federal judgeship stays where it belongs. It is imperative this [sic] his eventual replacement lives in and is from our region.” 

Jess Fassler, chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Gillibrand, said ealier this month that it has always been the senator’s intention to be sure the judgeship remains in Utica.

“It has always been the expectation that Judge Hurd’s successor would sit in the Utica courthouse, and Jorge Rodriguez had committed to doing so,” Fassler said. 

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