First, Burns Must Win Nod
For State Supreme Vacancy
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Attorney Michael E. Trosset, Cooperstown, who announced Friday afternoon he is seeking to succeed Brian D. Burns of Oneonta as Otsego County judge, has a lot of company.
County Republican Chair Vince Casale said a few minutes ago that, in addition to Trosset, five other lawyers have contacted him about succeeding Burns.
They are, in alphabetical order:
• Richard Brown, Oneonta, named support magistrate for Otsego and Delaware counties in 2007. Early on, he was Burns’ law clerk, and at one point served as the county’s chief assistant district attorney.
• Michael Getman, Oneonta’s city prosecutor and an assistant district attorney. A graduate of Colgate University, he received his law degree in 1986 from Nova Southeastern School of Law. In 1991, he joined the firm of his father, City Judge Frank Getman, who passed away in 2009.
• Jill Ghaleb, Cooperstown, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson in 2008 to fill an interim county court vacancy. She is a graduate of Utica College with a law degree from the New York Law School and 30 years experience.
• Will Green, Hartwick, an assistant district attorney and partner in the Green & Green firm, Cooperstown. A Skidmore graduate, he received his law degree from Western New England School of Law.
• Susan Lettis, a Cooperstown native now residing in Oneonta, associate attorney, Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Appellate Division, Third Department. A Syracuse University graduate, she received her law degree in 2012 from Vermont Law School.
Casale said he is “cautiously optimistic” that Burns will receive the nomination Tuesday at a judicial convention in Binghamton to succeed state Supreme Court Michael V. Coccoma, who retired at the end of June.
At that point, Burns said he will remove his name from the county judge line on the November ballot, which will be filled by what Casale called a “nominating process,” that could culminate in a gathering of the 76 members of the county committee, perhaps next Sunday at The Otesaga.
The county chair said the focus now is ensuring, not just that the regular process is followed, but that all related executive orders and social-distancing provisions are taken into account.
The party’s goal, he said, is to ensure whoever is chosen, whose name will then appear uncontested on the November ballot and take office Jan. 1, has “expertise, knowledge and capability,” and will be “fair and impartial.”
There is no Democratic nominee on the November ballot, so it’s too late for that party to add a name to the line, Casale said.