Veteran New York judge resigns after keying town official’s car

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A New York judge resigned after “keying” a town official’s car for denying his request for health insurance, according to the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Former Lewis County Justice Gregory Burker, who had held his position for over two decades, was piqued over the town’s decision to deny him medical coverage, so he took out his frustration on an unnamed official’s parked car, authorities said.

“Engaging in vandalism is inimical to the role of a judge and undermines public confidence in the integrity of the courts,” Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said in a statement. “It would be untenable to retain on the bench a judge who violates the very criminal laws he is sworn to administer upon others.”

On Oct. 29, Burker pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree for defacing the vehicle. That same day the commission launched an investigation into the wayward judge.

Burker resigned effective Dec. 31 and agreed never to seek or accept judicial office again, closing out the misconduct probe, according to a statement from the commission.

Burker’s current term as Watson Town Justice in Lewis County was set to expire Dec. 31, 2023.

He declined to comment.

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