Candidate Statement for John De Chiaro for Town Justice
I’m seeking your support for the position of Pelham Town Justice for the next four years, with a deep commitment to restoring the Court’s full effectiveness and professionalism. I previously served successfully as Town Justice for eight years and am eager to take on this responsibility again.
The reason for my candidacy in this November’s election is rooted in my concern about the current status of the Court. Some of the “modernizations” of the current court, which were presented as successes, were the achievements of others in the court system. And with the pandemic lockdowns, remote procedures were mandated by New York State and then implemented by the dedicated clerks of the Pelham Court.
Of more significant concern is the fact that the essential trial work must be shared equally among the Justices and the Court deserves the full support of a competent and experienced co-Judge.
Let me explain my extensive legal background. My journey commenced in 1978 as a clerk in the Court of Claims, where I oversaw numerous trials and issued decisions for both civil and criminal cases. Subsequently, I entered private practice, amassing 46 years of experience in litigating a diverse array of civil and criminal cases to verdict.
I was initially elected as Pelham Town Justice in 2011 and re elected in 2015, owing to my extensive experience, legal expertise, and proven track record. During my eight years on the bench, I presided over numerous trials, rendered vital legal decisions, and provided fair and effective service to both Pelham residents, litigants and the attorneys appearing before me.
My roots in Pelham extend deep, as I have resided here for 34 years. My wife, Mary Beth, and I have celebrated 25 years of marriage, and our son, Gianfranco, a proud Pelham school graduate, currently attends St. John’s University.
It is crucial to recognize that winning an election and donning a black robe do not inherently translate into a competent Judge. Competence in this role is honed through courtroom experience. While accomplishments outside the courtroom may be highlighted, the equitable administration of justice demands hands on engagement with legal matters. My 46 year legal career equips me with the legal knowledge and practical experience vital for the role of a Judge.
Most importantly, and throughout my tenure on the bench, I consistently applied a common sense approach to ensure fairness for both litigants and counsel.
I am pursuing this office not for personal gain or recognition but to re-establish wisdom, integrity, and scholarship to a court that is in need of these qualities. I respectfully urge you to set aside loyalty to national party affiliation, and thoughtfully consider your choice on election day.