To the Editor:
This November 2nd, voters in Oswego County will be choosing a County Court Judge for a ten year term. The County Judge position is one of great importance, as he or she is usually the principal arbiter of any and all serious criminal cases that occur in the County, as well as being assigned to duties as Family Court Judge from time to time, and even acting as a Supreme Court Judge.
In my view, there is only one candidate qualified to fill that post who is running in this year’s election, and that person is Judge David Roman. I have known Dave Roman for over 35 years, as a colleague, a partner, and a friend. David is not an accomplished politician. He is, however, an accomplished lawyer and distinguished jurist.
The one issue David’s opponents are attempting to use against him is the ticket on which he seeks office this year. He is running as a Democrat. He is also running as an Independent. In my opinion, if he had sought to be cross endorsed the last time he ran, for Family Court Judge, he would have succeeded. Instead, a far less qualified politician/lawyer was elected, largely on the strength of her partisanship. Dave did not get to run in the general election, since he lost the primary, and had pledged not to run on any other lines other than Republican. As it turns out, that was a mistake. Voters have a chance to correct that mistake this fall by returning Dave Roman to the Oswego County Court bench for a full ten year term.
Believe me when I say that Dave is one of the least partisan people I know. He does not have a partisan bone in his body. I am partisan, and have made the mistake of voting for some candidates solely on the basis of my own party loyalty. David does not make that kind of mistake. He has always judged a candidate by his or her bona fides, not their party. So should he be judged.
Dave’s opponent has spent many years working in the District Attorney’s office. I respect that. However, there is a problem with his running for County Court Judge while his brother is still the Sheriff. He would be disqualified from at least 28% of the cases which would otherwise come before him, according to statistics published by former Supreme Court Judge Bob Nicholson. The issue is very simple… If you had to appear as a defendant in County Court in a case prosecuted by the Sheriff, would you want his brother to be sitting as the Judge? The Todd camp’s non-denial denial of this clear conflict issue defies logic. Mr. John Henry’s non answer answer, which virtually drips with partisan invective, does little to clarify the matter either.
The fact remains that on the very important issue of who is best qualified to serve, only Judge Roman has been found “highly qualified” by the Independent Judicial Election Screening Committee.
Oswego County has always been a bastion of Republican strength ( much to my chagrin ! ). Other than electing a Sheriff on the Democratic line (and even he was a registered Republican), no County wide non-Republican party candidate has ever won a county-wide position (County Clerk, Judge, District Attorney) in modern history. It is time to change that this year, and to elect the person best qualified, regardless of party, as Oswego County Court Judge. That person is David John Roman.
Very truly yours,
John T. Sullivan Jr.