JAMESTOWN – Two regional attorneys are pointing the finger at a Jamestown attorney for allegedly influencing the rating of a Chautauqua County Family Court judge candidate by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission.
Frewburg Attorney Sherry Bjork and Buffalo attorney Margaret Murphey recently contacted the Jamestown Post-Journal with evidence she claimed proves Jamestown attorney Ken Lasker tainted Sally Jaroszynski’s campaign and worked to influence the commission’s not-qualified rating.
Jaroszynski is a Democrat from Falconer who is running against Fredonia Attorney Michael Sullivan for the Family Court Judge seat.
Murphey – who is speaking on behalf of Jaroszynski – and Bjork reportedly provided the Post-Journal with evidence that shows Lasker was working to keep Jaroszynski from winning the race. However, Lasker’s response is that he recused himself from the committee that handed out the ratings, and as a result he played no role in what the final ratings were.
Jaroszynski received a not-qualified rating from the commission while Sullivan recived a highly qualified rating. Just two years earlier both candidates received highly qualified ratings from the commission.
Jaroszynski currently serves as justice for the Ellicott Town Court. She also served as one of the two Ellicott Town Justices between 2011 and 2015, when former court clerk Jennifer Piazza was found to have taken more than $34,000 in cash.
An audit from the office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, released in 2015, stated that both town justices “did not segregate the duties of the full-time Court clerk, who controlled all phases of the Court’s cash collection, recording and reporting process with minimal oversight. As a result, the full-time Court clerk was able to manipulate Court records and admitted to embezzling funds. Neither the Justices nor the Court clerks performed monthly accountabilities, and the Board did not consistently conduct, or retain anyone to conduct, the required annual audit of the Justices’ records.”
The current race for Family Court Judge comes after Judith Claire retired from the bench in June.
In 2014 Jaroszynski unsuccessfully ran for the newly created second family court judge seat, losing to judge Jeffrey Piazza in the 2014 November election. Sullivan also lost to Piazza that same year in the Republican primary.