Honesty matters in public office

To the Editor:

I’ve been watching the political storm swirling around the Guilderland town judge position for a while now. I had not really taken a position on it previously, but the addition of what I consider a key piece of information helped me decide how I feel about one of the contenders.

When the town board was considering candidates for appointment to fill the vacancy, one of the themes that I heard repeated a number of times was that any candidate for appointment would have to be immediately available for arraignments and other court proceedings on a very regular schedule, and that all interviewed candidates were specifically questioned on this subject.

When I learned that Ms. Napierski had a suspended driver’s license at the time that she was being interviewed and being asked about such availability, and that she did not disclose at that time that she had a suspended driver’s license, I immediately lost any sympathy for her cause.

I do not believe that someone who omits significant information during an interview process such as this merits a judicial appointment, and I strongly suspect that the town board would not have made this appointment had the members been provided with full disclosure.

I think that honesty matters in public office, most especially in our courts. Some may think Ms. Napierski's failings were minor in nature, and therefore worthy of being overlooked. I disagree.

Donald Csaposs

Guilderland

Editor’s note: Donald Csaposs, who works part-time as a grant writer for the town of Guilderland, stresses he is writing here as a private citizen.

Christine Napierski responds, “When I interviewed for the Town Justice position I wasn’t thinking about the speeding ticket that I received (while exiting the Thruway) and did not think a traffic matter, which is not a crime or even a misdemeanor and which most people experience at some point in life, needed to be discussed. Once I was hired, I did bring it to the attention of the Town Court and the judges recused themselves and the matter was transferred out of Guilderland which caused additional delay in getting it resolved. Like I said before, I am embarrassed about the matter but believe it is being publicized at this time to try and distract the voters from my qualifications and experience and to embarrass and intimidate me from running for election.”

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