The position of Agent Court’s adjudicator is an important but little-understood and about humble job. That closing allotment is not so accurate this year in Suffolk County, acknowledgment to a abandoned candidate-selection action that affronted anyone who believes in fair elections.
The agent in anniversary canton serves a 10-year term, oversees the processing of wills and appoints an abettor back one does not exist. The agent additionally appoints guardians for amateur or bedridden adults. These are advantageous assignments for lawyers, and in handing them out, surrogates charge be absolute from affair administration on whose curve they ran for election, administration who additionally are gluttonous jobs for affair stalwarts.
This year’s chase for Suffolk agent is the affiche adolescent for the call of alteration to some anatomy of nonpartisan, merit-based adjustment of selecting lath in New York.
The Democratic applicant is Theresa Whelan, 56, a Family Court adjudicator from Wading River. She additionally has the Conservative and Independence lines. Whelan got her party’s nod afterwards a three-party cross-endorsement accord for nine administrative contest blew up. That happened back Republican Tara A. Scully, 41, a Setauket attorney, apparent the adulterated abaft the alternative of District Court Adjudicator Marian Rose Tinari, a Conservative and the wife of Suffolk Conservative administrator Frank Tinari, as the Democratic nominee. Scully did so by petitioning her way assimilate both the Republican and Democratic lines.
Tinari withdrew, Democratic bang-up Rich Schaffer replaced her with Whelan, and the Independence and Conservative parties fell in line. So the accord was still intact, aloof the names rearranged. Scully, who absent the Democratic primary, is on the GOP line.
Whelan, in her account with the beat board, banned to adjudge or abstract herself from the alternative process. That’s worrisome, and it makes us catechism her adeptness to abstract herself from the interests of the affair that chose her, admitting her affiance to do so.
Scully, additionally active on the Green and Reform affair lines, practices in Agent Court. She knows the law, and has the affinity bare to accord with the difficult and affecting cases heard there. Whelan does, too. But Scully has beneath baggage.
Newsday endorses Scully.
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