In 2008, Herne was elected chief justice of the newly created St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court, a position he still holds.
Other ADAs and Champagne himself have prosecuted Bombay cases since Herne left, but there is hope for change that would reduce his office’s caseload and budget.
He said Tribal Court has taken over other legal aspects involving Akwesasne residents, “so this seems like a natural progression” to add criminal cases.
Tribal Court has divisions for Traffic Court; Civil Court for all non-criminal cases; Family Court, including a Child Support Enforcement Unit; and a Healing-to-Wellness/Drug Court.
The DA’s Office had 2,839 open cases in community courts across Franklin County at the end of 2012. The numbers are: Bangor, 48; Bellmont, 68; Bombay, 670; Brandon, 18; Brighton, 37; Burke, 58; Chateaugay, 62; Constable, 59; Dickinson, 12; Duane, 19; Fort Covington, 115; Franklin, 11; Harrietstown, 21; Malone, 670; Moira, 156; Santa Clara, 6; Village of Saranac Lake, 173; Village of Tupper Lake, 157; Tupper Lake, 63; Waverly, 59; Westville, 57, and 300 cases with no location noted.
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