By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The death of a judge recently
elected to the Queens Supreme Court has created a vacancy that
could be filled for up to a year by an appointment by New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Justice-Elect Lawrence Cullen died on Nov. 25 after a battle
with cancer. He was 64.
He was appointed to the Court of Claims by Governor George
Pataki in 2006 and designated by New York Chief Judge Jonathan
Lippman as an acting justice for the Queens Supreme Court. In
November, he was elected to fill one of three vacancies on the
Arlene Hackel, a spokeswoman for the New York Office of
Court Administration, said that the standard procedure outlined
in the New York State Constitution for filling Supreme Court
vacancies would be followed.
Under Article VI, Section 21(a), of the constitution,
Cullen's seat would be officially filled during the next general
election in November 2013, Hackel said. Until then, Governor
Andrew Cuomo can designate an interim replacement, who must be
approved by the New York Senate if it is in session, she said.
A representative for the governor's judicial screening
committee, Katie Sherwin, said on Thursday Cuomo's office had
not been officially notified by court administrators about the
In the meantime, Cullen's cases are being handled by Queens
Supreme Court Justice Robert Nahman, according to a secretary
for the court's Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein. Nahman
had been handling Cullen's cases for the last several months
while he was ill.
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