Judge Sira has brought a lot to Fulton County

I am writing with regard to a recent article published in the Jan. 27, edition of The Leader-Herald. The subject of the article is the Hon. Louise K. Sira, Fulton County Court Judge and Surroigate. I write not to challenge the contents of the article, as I believe Mr. Anich accurately recited the facts contained therein. My concern is that the article may leave your readers with the erroneous impression that the taxpayers and people of Fulton County are somehow being cheated. Judge Sira is an elected official. As such, she is entitled to medical leave to secure necessary treatment for an illness and still receive her salary. She has not received any special treatment. The taxpayers and people of Fulton County have not been prejudiced in any way by the current situation. Her caseload has been covered by other judges, without causing any delay in their own assignments.

Judge Sira is a professional who has devoted her entire career to public service. She first served as an assistant district attorney in Fulton County. In 2002, she was appointed to the position of district attorney by Gov. George Pataki, and was then elected to the post in 2003. I believe that she is the longest serving district attorney in the history of Fulton County. While holding that position, she reached a level of pre-eminence as a prosecutor in a county with a history of very capable and competent district attorneys. She secured criminal convictions in some extremely difficult cases. After her election to the county court bench, she has handled her calendar with great skill and with the same work ethic she had shown as district attorney. She has volunteered to hold court in other counties where schedules may have been backed up, or where help was needed. To my knowledge, she never declined a request to serve whenever or wherever asked. We, the people of the state of New York and, more particularly, Fulton County, owe her a debt of gratitude for her service. We are most fortunate to have her as one of our two exceptional county judges. Our concern should be that she has a speedy recovery from her current illness and that she is able to return to her duties. In that way, we will continue to benefit from her wisdom, her hard work, her humanity, and the grace which she brings to her position.

RICHARD T. AULISI

Caroga Lake