ELLENBURG CENTER -- The Ellenburg Town Council passed a resolution to give a former town justice the position of court clerk at a meeting Tuesday night.

The New York State Court of Appeals removed Dennis LaBombard from office March 13, after missing the Court of Appeals deadline to review his case.

When the Court of Appeals did not receive the necessary paperwork to further the review process by the March 6 deadline, the justices upheld the Commission on Judicial Conduct's earlier recommendation to have LaBombard removed from his position.

The commission had removed the justice from office for giving his step-grandchildren lenient sentences, trying to get another justice to go easy on a relative and changing bail for a defendant after their relative requested it outside of court.

Ellenburg Town Supervisor James McNeil said Justice Kenneth Prevo, who took office Jan. 1, approached him recently to ask if LaBombard could continue training him.

McNeil said he told the new justice that LaBombard "can't be in there to help."

Prevo reportedly told the supervisor he will continue as justice for the rest of the year "provided that Dennis LaBombard will be his clerk."

"I checked with the town attorney, "¦ and Dennis can be clerk for the rest of the year," McNeil announced at the Town Council meeting.

The resolution to allow LaBombard to work as clerk was passed unanimously by the council.

McNeil said Court Clerk Jeff Matthews and LaBombard will alternate weeks in which they are clerk to Prevo.

Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of and counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said, legally, LaBombard could serve the town as clerk.

"He cannot ever be a judge again, but I don't believe there's any rule or statute that prevents him from being a court clerk."

LaBombard was surprised to hear of his new position Wednesday morning.

He said he is still waiting to hear if his appeal will be reinstated with the court.

"I don't have any comment on it right now," he said. "I want to stay as judge. That's the position I want."

rosborne@pressrepublican.com

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