ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The embattled Judge Leticia Astacio, while declining an interview on camera, spoke with then sent a statement to Spectrum News about her highly-publicized legal trouble, which you can read in its entirety below.
That statement lands along with news that Astacio has not lately reported to work, with her attorney, Mark Young, stating that Astacio is dealing with a medical issue and had a note from a doctor excusing her from work. Young also accused the administrative judge of making a private matter a public one.
Astacio has been off the bench since her DWI conviction more than a year ago. She then spent time in jail for not reporting for an alcohol test. She's again accused of violating conditions of her probation, and has an October court date.
Astacio is still collecting a $174,000 per year salary. Only the state Judicial Conduct Commission can remove a judge or remove his or her salary.
Judge Craig Doran, the Administrative Judge for the Seventh Judicial District, says Astacio hasn't reported to work at the Hall of Justice since the end of August. A photo shows her public office space as cramped and disheveled.
In June, Doran told her she needed to report to work Monday through Friday to work on research or other duties. She would not be on the bench overseeing cases.
Since Astacio has not reported to work, Doran says he is considering the appropriate administrative response after she couldn't comply with rules he had set in place months ago.
Young counters by saying Astacio's immediate supervisor, Judge Teresa Johnson, approved the absence. Johnson would not comment and Doran said it would be inappropriate to comment if that's true one way or another.
In a statement sent by Astacio, her attorney goes into great detail about the case. Here is her statement, in full:
On May 26, 2017 the court, while made aware that Judge Astacio was on vacation in Thailand, which was not prohibited by her conditional discharge, scheduled a court appearance for Tuesday May 30, 2017 at noon. The court notified Judge Astacio's attorney of the scheduled court appearance via fax message on May 26, 2017 after 3:00 pm. Judge Astacio was made aware of the same by her attorney on the same day. Judge Astacio responded within minutes of that message being sent, reiterating that she was in Thailand and explaining the hardship imposed by the lack of notice by the court. Despite the Court being notified that Judge Astacio was on vacation in Thailand and would not be able to make the May 30th court date, the court issued a warrant for her arrest. When Judge Astacio appeared in court on June 5 and volunteered to take the ETG test immediately, the court refused her request and held her without bail for a period of 45 days. It should be noted that the Assistant District Attorney at the time was not seeking incarceration of Judge Astacio nor had the defendant been previously arrested or refused anything ordered by the court. The ETG test originally ordered by the court, and typically performed by the probation department, consists of inserting a strip into the defendant's urine to determine the use of alcohol. Without the use of a color chart or any other device to assure that the test was performed properly, the probation officer then makes a subjective determination as to whether or not there has been alcohol consumption within the last 72 hours. The urine is discarded and never sent to a lab for testing. The test can detect alcohol consumption for approximately 90 days prior to the sample taken. In this case on August 26, 2017, Judge Astacio's test was negative for the presence of alcohol. Therefore, had she taken the ETG test on June 5, the test would have been negative and she should not have been incarcerated for the 45 days. The test also proved that she was alcohol free at least back to May 28, 2017, which was prior to her court ordered appearance. It makes one wonder why an apparent first time offender for DWI received 45 days in jail, 3 years of probation, a SCRAM bracelet and the other penalties which go along with a first time DWI conviction. We appreciate the opportunity to put this forth to your viewers.
Very truly yours,
Bridget L. Field
Here are the results from that ETG test that she provided me. pic.twitter.com/YncVsel1ju— Cristina Domingues (@CristinaTVNews) September 22, 2017