Judge censured after social media posts supporting law enforcement

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TOWN OF LLOYD – Judge Terry Elia, serving on the Town of Lloyd Justice Court bench since 1998, has been “censured” by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.  Disciplinary censure is the second-highest punishment the commission can administer, just shy of removing a judge from the bench.

The commission’s determination can be found here.

According to the decision, Judge Elia was “censured for making inappropriate LinkedIn posts and for serving as a ‘peer support member’ of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team.”

The 68-year-old judge was censured after the commission learned of several instances of the judge “liking” posts through his social media LinkedIn account and also sharing a post that had a picture of a Civil War soldier with the caption of “Because Black Lives Mattered.”  That post and all of the others can be found in the complaint by clicking here.

Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said, “A judge must be and appear impartial, or public confidence in the integrity of the courts may be compromised. Extra-curricular alignments with law enforcement entities, even in a good cause, can be problematic. So, too, must a judge avoid partisan politics, except when running for judicial office.”

Judge Elia agreed to the censure.  “It is with a heavy heart that I accept the determination of the commission which noted that I am not trained as a lawyer, but that I made certain errors relating to my conduct in my private life (via social media and volunteer work) which may negatively impact the public’s perception of the judiciary,” Elia said through a statement from his attorney,  Deborah Scalise. “For that, I am very sorry.”