Upon reading an article that appeared recently in The Buffalo News, I would without reservation support the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct decision to censure State Supreme Court Judge Catherine Nugent Panepinto.
Judge Panepinto was personally involved in a heated discussion in 2018 over teacher staffing at City Honors School where her daughter was a student. I was in attendance at that 2018 meeting at City Hall and was appalled at her remarks but also shocked that a sitting State Supreme Court Judge would speak regarding such a controversial issue at a public forum. It was noted by her attorney that she was “solely motivated to improve the educational opportunities for her daughter and her classmates” but as a judge she “surrenders rights a private citizen may take for granted.”
This was not an isolated incident but a concerted effort on Judge Panepinto’s part, through social media, to publicly criticize the school principal and have an open discussion with school board members. In light of her overt and unethical behavior, I feel that this State Supreme Court Judge should resign. For this officer of the court, resigning would be the most prudent course to maintain the integrity of our judicial system.