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Franczyk takes over new post

Thomas P. "Tim" Franczyk, Erie County Court's newest jurist, began his first full day on the job Thursday without the need for on-the-job training.

A Buffalo City Court judge for the past 10 years and a noted prosecutor before that, Franczyk was unanimously confirmed Tuesday by the State Senate.

Franczyk, 49, was selected by Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer, with both the governor's Screening Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee backing his appointment. He fills a vacancy on the midlevel trial court created by Timothy J. Drury's election to State Supreme Court last November.

The brother of Buffalo Common Council President David A. Franczyk, the judge was lauded on the State Senate floor by Western New York senators prior to a unanimous voice vote on his confirmation.

In the audience was former Mayor Anthony M. Masiello, who appointed Franczyk to the City Court bench in 1997.

"Mayor Masiello helped me start my judicial career, so it was especially nice to have him there with my family and colleagues," Franczyk said.

One of the top prosecutors in the Erie County district attorney's office for 14 years, as well as a special prosecutor for the Niagara County district attorney's office, Franczyk said he looks forward to presiding as a judge over the types of felony cases he used to prosecute.

An adjunct professor of law at the University at Buffalo, Franczyk this past school year oversaw City Court's newly revived Youth Court program for high school students.

The Buffalo native received his undergraduate degree at Buffalo State College and his law degree from Syracuse University's College of Law.

Already endorsed for a full 10-year term on the bench by the Democratic and Independence parties, Franczyk is expected to be challenged during September's primaries.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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