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Nowak sworn in as state judge

Henry J. Nowak pledged Thursday to continue on State Supreme Court the hard work he became famous for in turning Buffalo Housing Court into a nationally recognized institution for combating blight.

As he was sworn in to his new post, Nowak was lauded by other judges for his eight years heading the busy housing court and his tireless efforts in dealing with the city's housing problems.

Chief City Judge Thomas P. Amodeo, one of a half dozen City Court colleagues who attended the ceremony, said he regrets losing the hard-working Nowak, who routinely puts in 60-hour weeks and greatly increased community involvement in dealing with the city's housing problems.

But Amodeo stressed that the state court "has gained a hardworking, intelligent and honorable judge" for the next 14 years.

Nowak, 42, thanked Amodeo for supporting his efforts to revamp Housing Court and pledged to continue working just as hard as a State Supreme Court justice.

Nowak's wife, Kerri Ann and the couple's three sons -- Henry, 9; Max, 8, and Charles, 6 -- all held the Bible as State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita Jr. administered the oath of office during the noontime ceremony in Erie County Hall.

The state judge's beaming father, former Rep. Henry Nowak, D-Buffalo, who served for 18 years before retiring in 1992, proudly talked about now being identified publicly "as the father of Judge Nowak."

The large crowd in the Ceremonial Courtroom included two dozen local judges and longtime Nowak family political allies, including former Erie County Democrat Party Chairman Joseph F. Crangle, former Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello and Associate Judge Eugene F. Pigott Jr. of the State Court of Appeals.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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