ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Despite being removed from the bench, Leticia Astacio will continue to receive her paychecks, according to the New York State Court of Appeals.
The court's ruling came Tuesday, saying in part "On consideration of the continuation of this Court's April 11, 2018 suspension, with pay, of Honorable Leticia D. Astacio from the office of Rochester City Court, Monroe County, it is determined that the suspension continue, with pay, effective immediately."
While Astacio has been removed from the bench, she hasn't officially been stripped of her title at this point. Until that process is resolved, she will continue to get paid, as she was under the initial suspension.
On April 24, the New York State Judicial Conduct Commission began the formal process of removing the embattled judge from office. Astacio had 30 days from that initial announcement to accept the decision, or appeal the commission's ruling, according to Robert Tembeckjian, administrator and counsel with the NYS JCC.
Leticia Astacio’s lawyer, Robert Julian, submitted a letter requesting the removed judge keep her nearly $200,000 salary. In the three-page legal document he sent to the New York State Court of Appeals, Julian says the judicial commission used unfair material against Astacio, and therefore she should continue to collect get paid even though she is suspended. While Julian is not representing Leticia Astacio on felony charges of attempted possession of a weapon, the document included information about Astacio's arrest for trying to buy a shotgun from a Henrietta Dick's Sporting Goods store in April.
Astacio, whose highly-publicized legal saga began two years ago, returned to work on March 1 for the first time since August. Despite her not working, she received a pay raise of more than $11,000 on April 1, bringing her yearly salary to $187,200.
Astacio was initially arrested in February 2016 for DWI and her comments in and outside of court, her missing court because she was overseas, and subsequent probation violations have garnered her extensive media attention.