From Among 6 Attorneys,
He’ll Join Bench On Jan. 1
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Almost 30 years of legal practice in Otsego County culminated this afternoon for Michael F. Getman, 62, who was chosen on the third ballot to succeed fellow Oneontan Brian D. Burns as Otsego county judge.
The son of a city judge, Getman, who has served as chief assistant district attorney and city prosecutor, will now appear unopposed on the Republican line for county judge in the Nov. 3 election, and is due to be sworn for a 10-year term on Jan. 1.
Today’s selection was made by the Republican County Committee meeting in The Otesaga’s ballroom.
Getman and the five other attorneys – Rich Brown, Jill Ghaleb, Will Green, Susan Lettis and Mike Trosset – were sequestered in the Oak Room next door and, one by one, made presentations to the committee members and answered questions.
“Most of the questions revolved around the Second Amendment,” the right to bear arms, said County Chairman Vince Casale, who presided.
A first vote was taken, and the candidate with the lowest tally dropped off. A second vote followed, and again one of the lawyers dropped off the list. On the third ballot, Getman received a majority – and the Burns’ seat.
“At the end of the day,” said Casale, “everybody agreed there were six very good candidates who brought good qualities to the table. I heard that from several committee people.”
The vote followed two weeks of furious campaigning after it surfaced that Judge Burns was favored to succeed Michael V. Coccoma of Cooperstown, who retired in June, as state Supreme Court judge in the 10-county Sixth Judicial District, which includes Otsego.
Tuesday, a Sixth District Republican judicial convention in Binghamton confirmed Burns as Coccoma’s successor, setting the stage for today’s county committee meeting.
Because the Democrats hadn’t nominated anyone to challenge the popular Burns, who was up for reelection this fall, the deadline for nominees is long past, so Getman is unchallenged.
A 1979 Colgate University graduate – a tight-end, he was a standout on the varsity football team, Getman went on to earn a law degree from the Nova Southeastern School of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1986. He practice in Florida and Massachusetts, before returning home to Oneonta in 1991, joining the law firm of his father, former Oneonta City Court Judge Frank W. Getman.
According to his profile on the law firm’s web page, Mike Getman continued in solo practice, concentrating in areas of wills, probate and estates, real estate and general litigation.
Since 1998, he has been an assistant district attorney and chief assistant D.A., prosecuting town court cases in Oneonta, Otego and Unadilla. He also serves as city prosecutor in Oneonta City Court, and on the Law Guardian Panel, Appellate Division, Third Department, representing children in the Family and Supreme courts of Otsego and Delaware counties.
He and wife Ellyn have two children, son Sean and daughter Ceili.