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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, March 10, 2011
Judge chides Redlich
By Anne Hayden
GUILDERLAND Attorney Warren Redlich, a town board member, still can’t represent clients in Guilderland Town Court, according to a decision handed down from federal court at the end of last month, citing a valid conflict of interest.
District Judge Gary L. Sharpe accused Redlich, in his decision, of continuing to “display an apparent disregard for the time and resources that this court must expend in interpreting his poorly-drafted pleadings.”
The decision was handed down after Redlich, who ran for governor on the Libertarian line in the November election, filed a lawsuit in May against members of the Committee on Professional Standards, claiming that his First Amendment rights, and the Sixth Amendment Rights of his clients, were violated.
Redlich, who owns The Redlich Law Firm in Albany, and lives in Gulderland, was sworn in as a Guilderland Town Board member on Jan 1., 2008, one of two Republicans who ousted Democratic incumbents on the board, including David Bosworth, who co-chairs the county’s Democratic Committee,
In February 2008, according to case documents, Donald Csaposs, the town’s grant writer, who had campaigned for Democrats, submitted a letter to the committee stating that Redlich’s appointment to the town board should disqualify him from appearing in Guilderland Town Court.
The letter was followed by letters submitted by the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and Richard Sherwood, the town attorney, to Judge Thomas Breslin with the Albany County Court, stating that it was a conflict of interest for Redlich to appear in town court.
Breslin wrote a letter to Philip Caponera, then the chairman of the Committee on Professional Standards, questioning whether Redlich should be allowed to appear in town court. In February 2009, the committee completed its investigation and told Redlich it had discovered “an official finding of professional misconduct.”
Redlich appeared before the committee at the end of March 2009, and asked it to reconsider its decision. In October 2009, he received a final letter of caution. However, in March 2010, Redlich received a new inquiry from Caponera about The Redlich Law Firm handling cases in Guilderland Town Court, referencing a new complaint from Csaposs.
In his suit, Redlich said that, because of the committee’s decision, an individual who wanted to retain The Redlich Law Firm to represent him in a criminal or traffic matter would not be able to do so, which infringes on the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. He listed two plaintiffs, Rita Redlich and David Bradley, in his suit, and said both had received traffic tickets in the town of Guilderland, and felt their interests were best represented by The Redlich Law Firm. Rita Redlich is his mother, and Bradley was his high school science teacher.
Redlich said he thinks he might have been targeted by Albany County Democrats.
“I think if you look at the people making the complaints, it’s largely Albany County Democrats,” said Redlich in May.
“The way politics work is that you attack your opponents economically to get them out of politics…and they have been successful,” Redlich told The Enterprise this week. He has said after his term on the town board is up in 2012, he will not run for public office again until his youngest child goes to college.
Redlich was the target of political attacks during his run for governor, when a flier imitating a police notice was circulated falsely describing him as a sexual predator. The mailer called him a “sick, twisted pervert,” and referenced a blog post he made in 2008 after pictures of Miley Cyrus caused controversy. It encouraged people to call police if they saw him anywhere near a public school, in the neighborhood, or near a family. Redlich has never been convicted or arrested for a sex crime.
“It was very hurtful, it’s very clear the purpose was personal; they were trying to hurt me, my wife, and my children, and they were successful,” said Redlich shortly after the November election. He said at that time he wouldn’t run for public office again.
“It is a habit of the Albany County Democratic machine and the Guilderland Democratic party to make these attacks,” Redlich said this week, after Sharpe’s decision was handed down.
Originally, Redlich planned to appeal the decision, but, he told The Enterprise yesterday, he changed his mind because, once his term with the town board is up, in December 2012, it will be a “moot point.”
Redlich took offense at what he called Sharpe’s “nasty language,” and said the judge was wrong to dismiss his complaint of Sixth Amendment right violations.
According to the decision, Bradley and Mrs. Redlich would have to prove they could suffer direct injury as a result of not being represented by Redlich in Guilderland.
“These allegations, which are ‘conjectural or hypothetical’ at best, fall short of demonstrating the type of ‘real and immediate’ injury or threat of injury required to demonstrate standing,” the decision reads.
“During the course of the case, my mother got a ticket in Guilderland, and a former client got arrested in Guilderland; the amendment rights are more important than the inconvenience to the court,” Redlich said this week.
“Mr. Redlich should be mindful in drafting future submissions that the court’s patience has worn thin, and that he would be best served in re-evaluating and adjusting his current methods of operation accordingly,” Sharpe’s decision concludes.
Redlich won’t be drafting another submission to appeal Sharpe’s decision, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with it.
“I always believed judges were supposed to represent people’s federal rights,” Redlich concluded. “That’s his job.”