CLIFTON PARK – A city justice candidate said on Sunday she was troubled by her opponent for accepting the Saratoga County Sheriff’s approval.
Jennifer Jeram is running for City Justice on Democratic Party and Working Families lines against Judge James Hughes, a Republican who has held the post since 1982. Hughes has had no opponent since 1997.
Jeram said she is disputing Hughes’ acceptance of Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo’s approval since the sheriff’s office regularly appears in Clifton Park Town court for contraventions charges and vsrhymes.
“If my friend or family member were to end up in Clifton Park Town court following an arrest by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, I’m not sure I would want him to hear the deal, “Jeram said in a statement.
Hughes, who circulated the approval on social media, did not immediately respond to an email left on Sunday.
Zurlo did not respond to a voicemail message.
In her statement, Jeram said she was “struck by the poor acceptance of this endorsement on the court system”.
Citing the rules of judicial conduct, she said that a judge must avoid the appearance of impropriety in all his activities and must “act at all times in a manner which promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary “.
Jeram, an attorney for the state’s justice system, said the approval and apparent camaraderie between Judge Hughes and Zurlo underscored the need for a change in the city court.
“I want to note that I do not in any way blame the Saratoga County Sheriff for offering the approval – it was my opponent who should have refused,” the statement said.
Jeram also expressed disappointment at what she said was Hughes’ refusal to participate in a forum that would allow voters to know their two positions in the overall race.
The League of Women Voters is not including judicial candidates in its forums this year.
Jeram shared an email exchange with Hughes in which she invited him to participate in a forum where the two candidates could speak for themselves and allow the audience to ask questions.
“Really NOT INTERESTED,” replied the incumbent.
Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.
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