From Fred LeBrun
DeAngelis a bad bet for bench
First published: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Rensselaer County Judge Trish DeAngelis. It does have a certain unbelievable ring to it. A Valley Girl does the robes.
Even in other-worldly Rensselaer County, this turn of events would be rolling-in-the-dirt hilarious if it weren't for the depressing fact that it most likely will happen.
The looming probability of Judge DeAngelis emerging from the polls on Nov. 8 makes tragedy out of comedy in a hurry.
Any Republican candidate running countywide, especially one openly promoted by Senate Majority Leader and de facto county chairman Joe Bruno, is the odds-on favorite to beat any Democrat. Regardless of merit or lack of it.
Merit. Now, there's a word unneeded in this discussion. Even so, the thought of a Judge DeAngelis is arresting.
Where to begin? Her 28-month tenure as Rensselaer County district attorney has been like a roller coaster ride without a track under it. Reversals of convictions, emotional outbursts, a revolving door of assistant district attorneys fleeing the scene. Based on what we've seen of her as a prosecutor in the courtroom, or heard about her as an administrator, there are apparent shortfalls of maturity and temperament.
There's a bundle of enlightenment about her professional interactions contained in the allegations made in a $1 million lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court last week by a former colleague, Jennifer Sober. DeAngelis' grasp of the law is conspicuously mentioned as less than confident and precise.
And there's been a repugnant vindictive quality to some of her prosecutions, such as with the Jon Romano-Columbia High shooting incident.
That leads me to question her ability to be an evenhanded referee. Which is what a judge is supposed to be.
As a sort-of neighbor who lives one town away from her, I received Patricia A. DeAngelis for Rensselaer County Court Judge literature asking for my support. It's a straightforward appeal for a vote, which is fine, but it included a mystifying line.
"The convictions I have achieved in my career have sent child molesters and murderers to prison for hundreds of years. I have won incredible victories in the courtroom, and have learned more from my failures than my convictions."
Unfortunately no elaboration is offered. I'd love to know both what she considers her failures, and what lessons she thinks she's learned. But no, we'll just have to guess, which is about where the Rensselaer County voter will be on Election Day.
I don't blame her for wanting to be a judge. After all, what does she know? She's 36 years old -- 11 years out of law school -- and still can't decide what to do with her life.
She was handed the district attorney's job by the political bosses that got her in the office in the first place, and now she's being handed a judgeship by the same people.
All fingers point to Joe Bruno for this travesty, not Trish DeAngelis. The word back in May was that a second county judgeship would be created even though arguably Rensselaer County doesn't need one, and certainly other counties like Schenectady need a second judge much more.
The word also was that DeAngelis would be tapped simply to get her out of the D.A.'s office.
Well, all of that is coming to pass as word would have it.
Aren't we lucky?
We couldn't have said it better ourselves. It's funny, so many people cannot respect this person (professionally), including LeBrun, Carl Strock, E. Stewart Jones, Democratus, not to mention those in her own office. Wonder why?